Does your business collect “personal information” such as storing credit card numbers, logging personal check information or maintaining employee information such as social security numbers? If so, you need to understand and have a plan to comply with the Massachusetts Personal Information Protection Laws (MA 201 CMR 17) that went into effect March 2010.
We still run into businesses that don’t have the proper understanding of this situation and are putting themselves at risk. As we approach the one year anniversary of these laws, every business should take steps to be educated on compliance and consider available options to reduce the financial risks should an information breach occur.
Understanding the Laws..What’s at risk
Personal information is defined as a MA resident’s first name/first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements:
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License Number/State-issued Identification Number
- Financial Account Number or Credit or Debit Card Number (with or without security code)
If you have such information in your files or records, then you need to have a plan. Unless you have read up on the law and determined that you are in fact in compliance, it is unwise to make that assumption. Violators could face civil penalties of $5,000 for each violation, are required to pay the reasonable costs of investigation and litigation, and are subject to additional civil action because the law establishes a baseline standard that allows plaintiffs to argue negligence if a business loses data.To help you be sure that you are up to speed, here are a few helpful links.
Cyber Liability Protection
Even when you've taken proper steps to protect information, you still face the possibility of data or information breaches that could be costly. A single breach could cost thousands of dollars or more. Murphy Insurance has several options to help businesses reduce their financial risk if something happens. Call us and ask about Cyber Liability Insurance. Learn more about liability protection options >