Texas Private Security Board Rulings Improve Protection of Consumersí Private Information
Ernesto Rojas, CEO of Forensic & Security Services, Inc., has received the results of a request for various legal opinions from the Texas Private Security Board, regarding licensing regulations effecting computer security consultants and computer forensic examiners. It is important that these practitioners, as well as the entities hiring their services, are familiar with the licensing regulations, as violations carry steep financial and legal penalties.
These regulations were implemented to protect Texas consumers using these services. As Texas moves forward with the formalized licensing of computer forensic examiners and security consultants, Texas consumers will experience greater protection from unscrupulous individuals who may have ulterior motives for gaining access to computer based confidential and private information.
In a nutshell, any individual gaining access to another individualís or an organizationís private and personal information, in Texas, must be licensed by The Texas Department of Public Safety - Private Security Board. Some of Topics addressed by the Private Security board include differentiation between computer forensics and e-discovery services, the licensing requirements for network intrusion consultants and penetration testers, and clarification of computer repair establishments work scope limits.
The following is a brief explanation of the PSBís recent rulings. Official documentation of the boardís rulings can be found on the PSB website.
Analysis of computer-based data for the purposes of discovering information related to the causes of an event or an individualís conduct requires licensing. Mere scanning, retrieval, and reproduction of data associated with electronic discovery or litigation support services do not. Since network intrusion consultants and penetration testers have potential access to their clientsí confidential information, these professionals must be licensed.
Additionally, companies which offer computer repair or support services should be aware that they must be licensed investigators if they offer to perform investigative services, such as assisting a customer with solving a computer related crime. The review of computer data for investigating potential criminal or civil matters and offering to perform such services are activities regulated under Chapter 1702 of the Texas Occupations Code.
For more information regarding the Texas Private Security Board, please visit their website http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/psb. The complete text of the administrative rulings can be found at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/psb/docs/psb_opin_sum.pdf.
Forensic and Security Services, Inc. is a Houston based firm offering computer forensics, data collection, and expert testimony to attorneys and corporate clients. The firmís investigators and/or private security consultants are fully licensed by the State of Texas.
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