Following in the footsteps of the New York Department of Financial Regulation (NYDFS) in enacting cybersecurity requirements for the financial services industry, and in response to massive data breaches in the insurance industry, a wave of states have either enacted or are pursuing legislation aimed at regulating the cybersecurity measures of insurance companies.
In 2017, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) published a model rule that follows many of the NYDFS cybersecurity requirements, and most states are using that model in fashioning legislation for the insurance industry.
South Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio enacted cybersecurity laws applicable to insurance companies in the past year, and Mississippi, Connecticut, and New Hampshire have bills pending in their legislatures. More to come, for sure.
Since some states are not using the model law, there will be some variations from state to state. But basic security measures will be required in most of them, including having a Written Information Security Program (WISP) in place, completing a security risk assessment, and implementing procedures around incident response and breach notification. Just as in other areas of the law, such as breach notification, it will be important to follow the most stringent law if a company does business nationally or in multiple states and to stay current as states adopt new laws regulating cybersecurity.