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New York proposes online security rules for banks and insurers

Engadget Engadget 14/09/2016 Jon Fingas
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New York state isn't happy that banks and insurers are falling prey to hackers with alarming frequency, and it's determined to do something about it. Governor Cuomo has unveiled proposed regulations that would set online security standards for those industries. All companies covered by the rules would have to establish online security programs and policies. They'd have to limit access to sensitive data (say, social security numbers) to only those people that need to know, and require multiple steps when checking user identities.

The rules would require constant monitoring, too. Companies would have to routinely test their defenses, appoint oversight for vendors and provide reports on both progress and potential security holes twice a year. Their board chairs would also have to file yearly certifications showing that they're honoring the regulation.

The public has 45 days to comment on the proposal before it's published, so there is a chance that you or the companies could influence the regulation at this early stage. Whether or not that happens is another matter. While it's doubtful that banks and insurers will relish the idea of having to comply with more rules, New York's Department of Financial Services also sees this as a glaring security hole. In 2014, a third of 40 banks surveyed didn't even insist that their vendor partners let them know about data breaches -- your private info could be out in the wild and your institution wouldn't even know it. While tougher standards won't guarantee that your data remains safe, they could prevent some easily avoidable mistakes.

New York Governor

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