On April 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued the first-of-its-kind guidance for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, recordkeepers and plan participants on cybersecurity best practices for protecting the benefits of those participating in employer-sponsored plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

In what is likely the first in a series of future steps, the DOL guidance is intended to complement existing regulations, with a particular focus on these three key points:
  • Cybersecurity Best Practices – The guidance is designed to help employers, recordkeepers and other service providers understand their responsibilities to manage cyber risks.
  • Best Practices for Hiring a Service Provider with a strong Cybersecurity Focus – This is meant to help plan sponsors and fiduciaries develop strong selection and monitoring processes of/for their service providers
  • Online Security Tips – The DOL has provided many tips to plan participants and beneficiaries on how to best reduce the risk of fraud and loss when engaging with their online account(s)
There has been an exponentially increased reliance on the internet and complex technology and automation in recent years. The benefits of such innovation are immeasurable, but they do not come without cost, and the stakes have never been higher as a result. It is this reality that defined and focused Sentinel’s commitment to protecting the digital identity of those we serve, more than a half-decade ago. We take our role as “protector” serious and we believe that the DOL’s guidance is an important step for employers, fiduciaries and service providers.

We have a team of people throughout the Sentinel organization dedicated to combatting cyber-fraud and identity theft. You can have confidence that we stand ready to guide you from the implementation of these practices to the ongoing management of ensuring the strongest protections for your plan participants. Sentinel will be introducing further information and education opportunities regarding this guidance over the coming weeks and months.