The Effect of Connecticut’s Safe Harbor Law on Businesses

In states like Connecticut and Utah, the first quarter of 2021 has seen significant changes in cybersecurity safe harbor legislation. Connecticut recently implemented a breach litigation safe harbor law to encourage businesses to safeguard their consumers’ sensitive information by using industry-approved cybersecurity standards, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Internet Security (CIS).

How Will Connecticut’s Safe Harbor Law Impact Businesses and Consumers?

Connecticut’s safe harbor (cybersecurity standards) proposal for businesses is much similar to that of Ohio. The aim is to draft a practical cybersecurity framework that would comply with the cybersecurity programs widely recognized by industry protocols. This way, the entities could have an affirmative defense in response to claims if the company were to suffer data breaches or customers’ personal information is compromised.

“Restricted information” would refer to any unencrypted data on individuals, other than their personal details, and the breach of this information can be used to track a person’s identity. This loophole can potentially expose the victim to fraud or theft.

As crucial as Ohio laws are, Connecticut’s Safe Harbor Laws on Businesses only apply to tort claims linked to Connecticut laws or Connecticut courts, meaning that there’s no affirmative defense in the event of contract claims. When finally passed, the law is expected to take effect come early October this year.

All in all, the Connecticut Safe Harbor Law on Businesses will have a massive effect on consumers and Connecticut entrepreneurs. This law is a wake-up call on companies to tighten their cybersecurity barriers and take actionable measures to protect consumers’ personal information.

Connecticut’s Safe Harbor Law and Cybersecurity

Connecticut businesses are entreated to create affirmative defense from specific claims should their brands incur a data breach. Because several U.S. states already have written requirements for cybersecurity programs as a component of their data security policies, it’s not surprising that more states are beginning to adopt similar approaches moving forward.

Although advanced ransomware and cyber-criminals often target critical IT infrastructure, the most common protective system that most organizations employ is effective cybersecurity tools. 

In recent years, these attacks have caught the attention of government officials, sparking numerous calls for liability protection against such malicious breaches. According to lawmakers, business organizations must step up their game to adopt robust cybersecurity solutions and practices.

Former NSC cybersecurity expert Robert Knake emphasized that cyber hygiene is simply not enough, which means strong passwords, 2FA, vulnerability patching, anti-malware are all good, but not sufficient measures. Instead, businesses should invest more in security and operational intelligence as bad actors often capitalize on defenders’ mistakes. A professional IT company in Danbury can assist Connecticut businesses in keeping their data safe by using cutting-edge security technologies, resulting in a multi-layered security approach tailored to each organization’s needs.

With the COVID-19 pandemic sparking the need for remote working, now is the right time for states to advance their safe harbor laws on cybersecurity, geared toward protecting businesses and consumers from rampant cyberattacks and data breaches.