Last night’s Fox 5 investigative report by Dale Russell was disturbing. I watched as the news reporter showed how to easily hack into corporate records at the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. As a businessman, who knows how hard it is to start up a business, I find this totally unacceptable.
At a time where Georgia can’t afford to impede job growth and job creation, we learn that the Secretary of State’s office has a major security breech when it comes to protecting the identity of the 700,000 Georgia business owners on file with the office. This not only affects small business owners already operating in Georgia, putting them at risk of identity theft, but it also affects prospective businesses looking to set up shop in our state. The current Secretary of State has let our business owners down and quite frankly should be embarrassed.
In the business world, technology has to pass two tests: functionality and security. Anytime you are dealing with an individuals’ personal, financial or business data, security should always be first. What we have here is not a minor technology glitch, but rather a major gap in priorities. When the incumbent spends time away from his desk on midday campaign fundraisers and golf outings, it is no surprise criminals view our Georgia business owners as a weak target for identity theft.
The Secretary of State’s office is a $35 million, 300 person executive office. If this debacle had occurred in the private sector, we would be facing a major lawsuit at best and shareholders would be looking for a new CEO. Georgia’s taxpayers and business owners deserve better.
As Secretary of State, my priority will be to protect our business owners, keep their confidential information safe and secure and at a minimum show up to work and do what the taxpayers pay me to do.
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