According to state law, businesses in Kansas that experience a data breach must notify affected residents "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay." Notices can be written or electronic, and must be submitted as soon as possible after discovery of the breach.
A data breach is the unauthorized access or release of someone's personally identifiable information (PII), which is any data that could reveal an individual's identity.
Data breaches can happen if an employee clicks on a link in a phishing email, if a laptop or thumb drive is stolen, or if hackers break into a computer network. Accidental security breaches are another cause, such as misconfigured software that leaves data unprotected.
Every small business that handles credit cards or stores consumer information is vulnerable to data breaches. IT consultants, healthcare providers, and financial institutions are among the industries with the highest risk of harm.
Kansas's data breach notification law defines personal information as an individual's first name or first initial and last name linked to any one or more of the following data elements that relate to the person:
Any business that handles PII should invest in cyber liability insurance to mitigate costs in the event of a data breach.
Businesses must report a breaches to affected residents "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay."
Kansas state law outlines notice requirements for when and how businesses need to respond to a security breach.
Breaches of security must be reported immediately after their discovery when they are believed to have compromised the personal information of Kansas residents, unless identity theft or other types of harm are unlikely.
Businesses must report a breach to all affected residents "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, consistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement and consistent with any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and to restore the reasonable integrity of the computerized data system." Delays are permitted when law enforcement requests more time for a criminal investigation.
Businesses may provide communication to residents via written notice or electronic notice, such as an email notice. Substitute notice is allowed if a business demonstrates that the cost of providing notice would exceed $100,000, if the affected number of individuals to be notified exceeds 5,000, or if the business entity does not have sufficient contact information to satisfy the required notice.
If more than 1,000 individuals have been affected, businesses must also notify all nationwide consumer reporting agencies. If your business handles data for residents of the greater Kansas City area, data breach notification requirements may also be subject to laws for the state of Missouri, as well.
While Kansas law does not have specific requirements for the content of the notices sent to residents, they typically include the contact information for the business, which personal information was impacted, and contact information for the nationwide consumer reporting agencies (e.g., Equifax, TransUnion) and the Federation Trade Commission.
The notices should mention that these sources can provide information about fraud alerts and security freezes. When a data breach exposes online account information, they should prompt residents to change their usernames, passwords, or security questions.
If businesses need to notify consumer reporting agencies or other government entities, notifications should include the date of the breach, the scope of the breach, and any steps that the business has taken in the prompt investigation and mitigation of the breach.
Data breaches that impact healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals are regulated by federal laws. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) includes a Breach Notification Rule that requires notification after a breach of unsecured protected health information. Businesses must notify:
Under HIPAA, affected persons must be notified by first-class mail, or by email if they've agreed to electronic communication, within 60 days of the discovery of a breach.
The cost of a data breach can be significant, which is why cyber insurance is so important for businesses that handle personal data.
Notifying those affected and paying for credit monitoring can be expensive. You’ll have to investigate and fix your security weaknesses while suffering a possible loss of income, and government fines can also be costly. You might even face a ransomware attack, where hackers shut down your computer systems and demand payment.
If you're responsible for another company's data security, then you may need third-party cyber liability insurance. This policy covers legal expenses when a client blames your business for failing to prevent a data breach at their company.
E&O insurance, also called professional liability insurance, covers your legal costs in the event that a client sues you for making a mistake or failing to deliver on a contract. Tech E&O extends that coverage to include lawsuits related to data breaches and cyberattacks.
While any business could be at risk of a lawsuit after a data breach, this coverage is especially important for information technology businesses, especially IT consultants, network security companies, and cybersecurity businesses that recommend software or are responsible for information security.
The Attorney General may bring an action against individuals and commercial entities that violate the code in the State of Kansas.
The insurance commissioner is responsible for enforcing any actions on any violations committed by a state-licensed insurance company.
For businesses that store data, it's crucial to take appropriate steps to prevent a breach of the security of the system that you use to house personal information. Businesses should implement and maintain a reasonable security policy and procedures to protect personal information.
A variety of methods can be used to safeguard PII, such as designating one or more employees to coordinate a security program. It’s a good idea to conduct a security audit of the various types of personal information, unique identifiers, and other data elements you might have in your data systems.
Strong passwords, security questions, two-step authentication, and access codes can provide reasonable data protection for your business and any service providers who access this information, reducing the chance of an acquisition of personal information by an unauthorized person.
Complete Insureon’s easy online application today to compare insurance quotes from top-rated insurance carriers for cyber policies. Our licensed agents will help you find coverage that fulfills Kansas's insurance requirements and protects your business. Once you find the right policy for your small business, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.