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We probably shouldn’t be saying “online security”

September 15, 2013

This is an email I sent to a person at my CPA association that handles industry publications.

“May I propose coverage of a hot industry topic that seems to deserve more attention than it is getting:

“Online security”, particularly with regard to the Microsoft Exchange platform and Google Doc platforms used by so many CPA firms for email and document management. The disclosures over the past few months and especially this past week should, IMO, be shocking to the CPA community.

See
http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2013/07/16/responding-to-government-legal-demands-for-customer-data.aspx for other references.

In short, it seems clear that a) NSA has cracked the best security systems used by Microsoft and others for industry data, b) U.S. has released bulk data to other country security offices especially Israel) without and c) Microsoft, Google and others want to say more on the topic but are subject to government restrictions that prevent public discussion.

In light of all this news is seems silly for us CPAs to continue using the term “secure” in the same sentence as “online”. As a practical matter, I just think more CPAs should be up to speed on what’s going on and modify our professional and client conversations accordingly.”

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