Missing Flash Drive Sparks Security Concerns in Amarillo, Texas

The city said a password-encrypted flash drive containing employee information was reported missing, potentially exposing the Social Security numbers, addresses and banking information of around 3,400 people.

by Douglas Clark, Amarillo Globe-News / November 19, 2018

(TNS) —  Officials in Amarillo, Texas, said they are in the process of securing a vendor to assist employees with identification protection services, in the wake of a missing password-encrypted flash drive containing personal information for payroll.

City Manager Jared Miller said the city was notified Tuesday the auditor, CMMS, who is responsible for conducting a required external audit, did not have possession of the flash drive, presenting the potential for employee social security numbers, addresses and bank deposit information to be compromised. He said employees received a letter outlining the circumstances surrounding the matter and an effort was underway to make identification protection services available.

"There is no indication the information has been obtained through nefarious means," Miller said, noting the drive has not been found and roughly 3,400 people could be impacted. "We are working with our cybersecurity insurance provider and the audit company to provide identification protection services. We also have quite a few people who have identification protection and there has been no indication any of the information has been used."

City employees have been encouraged to file a police report if suspicious activity is found or there is reason to believe personal information is being misused. Officials said employees are also being asked to consider making contact with one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on their credit file - adding the action would inform creditors to contact them before any activity opening a new account or changing existing accounts.

At press time no information was available regarding the selection of an identification protection services vendor.

©2018 Amarillo Globe-News, Texas. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.