Watching Your Back
by Steven J. Ursillo, Jr.

"The use of technology has provided a tremendous advantage to combating fraud and other control-related issues. Data analysis and system monitoring has provided us with an efficient way of analyzing system access logs as well as operational and financial transactions."

Application/Network Vulnerabilities and the Risk Management Process
by Steven J. Ursillo, Jr.

"Advancements in technology solutions continue to provide added efficiency for the most complex and challenging obstacles. However, this forces technology professionals to adapt to rapidly changing environments. Ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data continues to be a significant concern, from the smallest businesses to the largest public corporations."

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Guard Against Cyber Threat
Journal of Accountancy

A type of fraud has come into the public eye in the past year in which the criminal surreptitiously obtains financial banking credentials, hijacks a corporate computer, and steals money from the victim’s bank accounts.

In this scenario, referred to as a fraudulent electronic funds transfer (EFT) transaction, a cybercriminal uses a software tool to gain control of the victim’s computer from a remote computer. The criminal then uses an EFT to move most, if not all, of the money in the victim’s bank account to one under his or her control, often costing the victim tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars. The increasing scope of this fraud prompted the FDIC to issue an alert warning about it last year (available at

Cloud Computing: What Accountants Need to Know
Journal of Accountancy

There’s no arguing that “cloud computing” is gaining a great deal of momentum. Worldwide, cloud services revenue is forecast to reach $68.3 billion in 2010, a 16.6% increase from 2009 revenue of $58.6 billion, according to analyst firm Gartner Inc. So what does this mean to the accounting profession? What are the benefits and risks? Who are the vendors in the proverbial sky, and how do you know you can trust them with your data—or your clients’ data, for that matter?

This article answers some of those questions and explains the history and future of the cloud.

Blue-Ribbon Panel Narrows Field for Private Company Financial Reporting
Journal of Accountancy

A blue-ribbon panel tasked with providing recommendations on the future of U.S. accounting standards for private companies by the end of this year is focusing on models that are based on current U.S. GAAP but that would result in different standards for private companies, where warranted, compared with GAAP for public companies.

The panel, which met in Chicago in July, eliminated models from consideration that were based on IFRS and also a model that effectively would have maintained the status quo.

The 18-member panel, which was announced in December 2009, is part of a joint effort by the AICPA; the Financial Accounting Foundation, FASB’s parent organization; and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment
Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council

Financial institutions should use this guidance when evaluating and implementing authentication systems and practices whether they are provided internally or by a service provider. Although this guidance is focused on the risks and risk management techniques associated with the Internet delivery channel, the principles are applicable to all forms of electronic banking activities.

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