TSP Takes New Measure to Enhance Data Security

June 21, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Participants in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) will soon access their accounts using account numbers rather than social security numbers.

style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt”> Govexec.com reports that Mark Hagerty, the TSP’s chief information officer, said that the National Security Agency is also working on a program to trace laptops and destroy data remotely if needed. He would not disclose all of the measures the TSP is taking to enhance security.

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt”> Currently, TSP policy mandates that any data in transit is encrypted and password-protected. The TSP also uses a number of advanced firewalls to protect its data, according to Govexec.com. Employees must carry information, such as that stored on a CD, separately from a company laptop. The TSP does periodic physical audits of employees to ensure adherence to that policy.

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt”> An annual review of the TSP’s security measures is also performed by an agency Hagerty would not disclose.

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An email hoax in March guided participants to a TSP look-alike Web site and asked for social security numbers and PINs (See Scammers ‘Phish’ for TSP Participant Info ). After that, Hagerty said, the agency entered into a working relationship with the Secret Service on information security efforts.