Ohio Cybersecurity Legislation Applicable to Insurers Now In Effect

Ohio’s new law requiring insurance providers to take steps to protect personal information recently went into effect March 20, 2019. Ohio now follows South Carolina as the second state to adopt legislation modeled after the NAIC’s Insurance Data Security Model Law.             The law, codified at new Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3695, applies to all individuals or non-governmental entities required to be authorized, registered, or licensed under Ohio insurance laws (defined as “licensees”). Only smaller licensees that have fewer than 20 employees, less than $5…
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Washington State Cyberstalking Law Deemed Unconstitutional

On February 22, a federal judge in the State of Washington held that Washington’s cyberstalking law impermissibly inhibits constitutionally protected speech in violation of the First Amendment. The case of Rynearson v. Ferguson was commenced by Richard Rynearson, III against Washington State’s Attorney General and county prosecuting attorney under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for the purpose of enjoining the state’s enforcement of its cyberstalking statute, Wash. Rev. Code Section 9.61.260. Rynearson is an online author and activist who regularly writes online posts and comments directed…
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Key Upcoming Deadlines under the New York DFS Cybersecurity Regulation

When New York’s landmark cybersecurity regulation became effective back in March 2017, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) implemented a two-year timeline for implementation of the regulation’s requirements, with a final compliance deadline of March 1, 2019.  Entities covered by the wide-sweeping regulation should remember filing their first certificate of compliance in February of last year.  The two-year implementation period is almost over, and once again, important deadlines are now quickly approaching.  “Covered Entities” (banks, insurance companies, and other financial services institutions and…
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Department of Health and Human Services Releases Cybersecurity Guide for Healthcare Providers

Over a year of collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and industry partners has culminated in the publication of a cybersecurity guide for medical providers of all sizes. HHS describes it as “a set of voluntary, consensus-based principles and practices to improve cybersecurity in the health sector,” that looks to “raise the cybersecurity floor” across the country. Although the guide emphasizes its wide applicability, much of the discussion appears directed at small and mid-sized providers. For example, HHS highlights a recent…
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Congress Concludes Additional Federal Oversight Needed after Equifax Data Breach

“Equifax…failed to implement an adequate security program to protect this sensitive data…Such a breach was entirely preventable.” So concludes the December 2018 report on “The Equifax Data Breach” by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The cause, according to the report, was Equifax’s “acquisition strategy [to benefit] bottom line and stock price,” which “growth brought increasing complexity to Equifax’s IT systems, and expanded data security risks.” Risks, it seems, Equifax did not manage. In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security…
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In Pennsylvania, Employers (and Others) may be Liable for Failing to Protect Personal Information that They Collect

On November 21, 2018 Pennsylvania’s highest court ruled that employers in Pennsylvania have an affirmative legal duty to protect workers’ sensitive data from possible hacking.  This ruling has profound implications for employers, which may now be subject to liability for failing to take reasonable precautions to protect their employees from cyber attacks. In a proposed class action, employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center sought damages after a data breach exposed the personal information – including names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers,…
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Pennsylvania Federal Court Dismisses Law Firm’s Case Against Bank in Social Engineering Cyber Attack

The unfortunately reality of cyber theft is that it’s much like any other type of theft – even if the criminal is caught, it’s unlikely that the ill-gotten gains will ever be fully recovered. There are simply too many ways to hide their destination or make them disappear. This often means the victim will seek other avenues for recouping losses, including filing a civil action against entities or individuals who allegedly could have helped prevent the theft. In the case of O’Neill, Bragg & Staffin,
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An International Vow to Address Cybersecurity

On Monday, November 12, 2018 , during the Internet Governance Forum at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, the French President Emmanuel Macron announced an international agreement referred to as the “Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.” The agreement was signed by over 50 countries as well as businesses, including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, and other organizations. Australia, the United States, Israel, Russia, and China are notably absent. The agreement first highlights the central role cyberspace plays in every aspect of present life and reaffirms…
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In Line with GDPR, Canada Amends its Privacy Protection Regulation to Include Stringent and Mandatory Breach Notification Rules

On November 1, 2018, Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) was amended to include stringent, mandatory breach notification rules. These rules are similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect in May, 2018. Organizations that conduct business in Canada will be subject to PIPEDA as well as the GDPR, if that organization is accessible in the European market. The new PIPEDA regulations reinforce the image of Canada as an international leader in personal data protection…
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Advisen Cyber Risk Insights Conference

I, along with three of my partners in Goldberg Segalla’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice Group, recently attended the Advisen Cyber Risk Insights Conference in New York City and came away with some terrific nuggets.  They include the importance of “silent cyber” to reinsurers and regulators, the fragmentation of the cyberinsurance market and the difficulty in driving change even for industry leaders, and continuing perceptions about coverage for cyber-related losses under stand-alone cyberinsurance policies and traditional insurance policies. One of the best resources I picked…
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