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March 1, 2012
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  Tech Update 
  • Microsoft execs tout benefits of enterprise cloud
    The shift to cloud computing is giving companies more flexibility in how they design IT systems, Microsoft executives said. The service is also giving smaller businesses access to resources that were once out of reach. "As our customers and partners embrace this, we're seeing a lot of creativity and energy that is really going to drive the next generation of computing," said Satya Nadella, president of server and tools. AccountingWEB (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How CFOs can be standard setters for the cloud
    Enterprise customers increasingly are moving operations to the cloud, but real benefits will come only to companies that succeed at optimizing services to meet their needs. Chief financial officers can play a leading role by linking investment in cloud services to the bottom line and choosing vendors that maximize value, Jonny Evans writes. CFOworld/Technology blog (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are you keeping up with the pace of IT?
    The days of being able to roll out an IT project over the course of a year are over, Greg MacSweeney writes. The pace of innovation is increasing, and companies need to keep up if they want to remain competitive. That's the reason more startup providers offer services that can be implemented in weeks, not years, MacSweeney writes. Wall Street & Technology (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Emerging Trends 
  • Federal court case could raise e-discovery costs for defendants
    A U.S. District Court ruling could have big implications for defendants in class-action lawsuits involving electronic discovery. A magistrate judge held in Pippins v. KPMG that KPMG was required to preserve thousands of hard drives used by employees who could be members of the class action. The company argued that preserving the drives could cost as much as $100 million and give plaintiffs a tool to force a settlement. AccountingWEB (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How visualization can aid data analysis
    John Sawyer writes about how visualization can help IT professionals cope with a large amount of data. Putting data in a graphical format can be useful for reviewing logs and conducting a forensic investigation. However, it's important to choose the right tool and know when visualization is the most revealing and when it can be misleading, Sawyer writes. Dark Reading (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • E-mail software sniffs out corporate fraud
    Software designed to analyze employees' e-mails increasingly is used to uncover corporate fraud. Vendors offer search engines that can scan communications for telltale signs of money troubles that might give a person an incentive to embezzle from his or her employer. The software can be more effective at uncovering fraudulent activities than traditional forensic accounting. The Economist (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Need for IT drives CIOs into C-suite
    Chief information officers are starting to enjoy more influence at companies that have made technology a priority. Forward-thinking CEOs are increasingly looking to their technology chiefs to provide leadership in improving IT operations. The shift is giving CIOs more visibility and a stronger position in the C-suite, executives said. Information Management (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Security Corner 
  • Businesses are warned to prepare for mobile security threats
    The growth of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets brings increased risk to corporate computer networks and confidential data. Four reports implore organizations to assess and address cybersecurity threats posed by a surging number of employees using mobile devices to connect to key networks and transmit and store critical data. Companies should know how many mobile devices are in their network, whether their security is up-to-date and which ones are inactive or lost, Mobilisafe Vice President Sajal Sahay said. CGMA Magazine (2/15), Business Finance (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tips for assessing your cloud provider's security
    Companies that keep sensitive information in the cloud should assess their provider's security. The best approach is to focus on critical areas, rather than present the provider with an overly broad questionnaire or audit. Cloud providers also might allow customers to test vulnerability and penetration during an agreed-upon time, as a way to validate their security. Dark Reading (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Security experts offer advice to small companies
    Small and midsize businesses are a top target for hackers looking for cash because smaller companies lack the IT budget and sophistication of larger players. Experts said small companies can improve their security by educating employees, updating software and performing basic vulnerability tests. It's also a good idea to conduct background checks and implement rules for accessing data. CFO Magazine (2/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Guidance gives banks a plan for better security
    Guidance from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council aims to help banks secure their accounts from cybercrime. The effort is especially good for commercial customers whose funds are outside the scope of Regulation E, which protects consumers from liability in case of Internet theft. Companies should use the council's guidance to assess their bank's security measures, one expert said. CFOworld (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Regulatory & Legislative 
  • GOP senators push back against proposed Cybersecurity Act
    Senate Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are pushing for their version of a cybersecurity bill after the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was introduced. The act would give the Department of Homeland Security a lead role in securing the country's technology infrastructure. Opponents said the act was not fully vetted. "The American people would be better served by holding hearings and a markup so that members of both parties can make informed decisions about cybersecurity legislation," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  AICPA News 
  • CITP Exam Sponsorship Program will assist members with mandatory exam requirement
    The first mandatory Certified Information Technology Professional examination is scheduled July 25 to Aug. 31. The deadline to apply while leveraging existing credential requirements is May 25. After that, applicants must pass the CITP exam to attain the CITP credential. Registration for the exam closes July 20. To assist CPAs with interest in information management and IT to complete the CITP exam requirement and ultimately obtain the CITP credential, the IT Section introduced the CITP Exam Sponsorship Program. The sponsorship is designed to reimburse expenses incurred in preparing for and taking the CITP exam. You may already qualify for the sponsorship. Download the application and take advantage of this great incentive. Visit the CITP exam Web page for more resources to help you prepare. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Complete Guide to the CITP Body of Knowledge is available
    The marketplace is changing. Companies are looking at technology as a way to improve operations and efficiency. Take advantage of this guide as an educational and technical resource to help build on your competency. The Complete Guide to the CITP Body of Knowledge is available to accounting professionals with interest in IT and information management. This guide is an in-depth and comprehensive review of fundamental concepts of the CITP Body of Knowledge. It is designed not only to assist in a candidate's preparation for the CITP examination but also to enhance your knowledge in the marketplace. Note: An additional discount of as much as 45% is offered to IT Section members and CITP credential holders! Purchase the guide! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Register: "2012 Top Technology Initiatives" webcast
    CPAs are increasingly asked to solve IT problems for current and prospective clients. Join us at this webcast, "2012 Top Technology Initiatives," scheduled 2 to 4 p.m. ET on April 4, to learn insight and opinion obtained from results of the 23rd annual AICPA Top Technology Initiatives survey. Whether you work in public practice or business and industry, results of this survey will provide valuable feedback regarding technology concerns that are of greatest importance during the next 12 to 18 months. This webcast will also provide a gauge for yourself and other CPAs regarding where to allocate resources this year. To learn more, register! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Peer Review sees importance in SOC engagements
    At the January meeting of the Peer Review Board, the Peer Review Standards Task Force submitted proposed guidance for changes to System Reviews and Must-Select Engagements for Service Organization Control 1 and SOC 2 engagements. To advocate for this need, the AICPA's Information Technology Executive Committee submitted two memos to Peer Review for consideration. (Refer to attachment 1.07 in the January meeting minutes.) The board also discussed widespread reliance on SOC reports and a need to educate the peer-review community on requirements for performing SOC engagements and for utilizing SOC 1, 2 and 3 reports. Register for the SOC REPORTSâ„ : SOC 1, SOC 2 and SOC 3 On-Demand Series. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgment."
--Louis Brandeis,
U.S. Supreme Court justice

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About the Information Technology Section
The AICPA's Information Technology Section supports CPAs with a focus in ensuring data reliability, relevance, and availability using technology. The use of technology also enables CPAs to manage financial information effectively. The IT Section resources provide valuable information to help members achieve profitability for their organizations and of their clients.

About the Certified Information Technology Professional Credential
The Certified Information Technology Professional credential distinguishes CPAs who leverage technology to provide expertise in information assurance, internal controls, business process improvement, data analytics, and enhanced business reporting.

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