State security breach puts focus on county's protection efforts

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina's recent security breach at the state level has put the focus on what government agencies are doing to protect your information.

Horry County's data center, in Conway off of Elm Street, stores thousands of taxpayer's information all in one room. County officials say that the room is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by in-house staff and a complex security system.

Those in charge of security say there is a very tight system in place to keep your information safe. The county spends $75,000 every year to make sure hackers can't slip through the cracks.

Right now the county uses eight different firewalls to block off any suspicious activity. When it comes to taxpayers' payment information, the county doesn't store it, instead it relies on a third party company that's required to meet security standards.

Horry County's Chief Information Officer Sheila Butler says there have been instances of suspicious activity, but the county has been able to tackle the issues before it becomes a problem.

Butler says that means it's less likely we'll see a breach of the same level in our area.

"I feel pretty comfortable with the systems we've set up. The steps of protection that we've done, I think we are in a very different situation than the state," said Butler.

In 2008, the county started an identity theft protection program. So all employees are educated on how to keep your information safe. Even with these measures set up, industry experts say it's very important that you monitor your own credit score as well as you can.

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