Data Breach Insurance in Oklahoma
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What are the data breach notification laws in Oklahoma?

According to state law, businesses in Oklahoma that experience a data breach must notify affected residents "without unreasonable delay." Notices can be delivered by mail, telephone, or electronically, and must be submitted as soon as possible after discovery of the breach.

What is a data 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 customer information is vulnerable to data breaches. IT consultants, healthcare providers, and financial institutions are among the industries with the highest risk.

What is personally identifiable information?

Oklahoma's Security Breach Notification Act [PDF] defines personal information as knowing an individual's first name or first initial and last name in combination with one or more of the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license number or state identification card number
  • Financial account number, credit card number, or debit card number in combination with a security code or password that permits access to a financial account

Any business that handles PII should invest in cyber liability insurance to mitigate costs in the event of a data breach.

Businesses in Oklahoma that experience a data breach must notify affected residents "without unreasonable delay" following discovery of the breach.

What are Oklahoma's data breach notification requirements?

Oklahoma state law outlines when and how businesses need to respond to a security breach. A breach of security must be reported when it compromises personal information and could cause identity theft or other fraud to state residents.

Businesses in Oklahoma that experience a data breach must notify affected residents "without unreasonable delay" following the discovery of the breach. A delay is only permitted when notification would interfere with a law enforcement agency’s criminal investigation.

Notification of the breach may be sent via written notice, telephone notice, or email notice. A substitute notice is allowed when notification costs would exceed $50,000, over 100,000 people were affected, or if the business doesn't have sufficient contact information. The substitute notice should consist of emails, a conspicuous posting of the notice on the business's website, and notification of major statewide media.

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What do business owners need to include in a data breach notice?

While Oklahoma law does not have specific requirements for the content of the notices sent to residents, notices should be written in a clear manner and include the following:

  • Your business's name and contact information
  • A description of the security breach in general terms
  • The type of personal information involved
  • Any steps the business has taken to protect data from further security breaches
  • Contact information for the major consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the state Attorney General's Office
  • Recommendations for additional action, such as information about free credit reports, fraud alerts, and security freezes

Breaches of health information are regulated on the federal level

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:

  • Affected individuals
  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • The media, if over 500 residents of a state or jurisdiction were affected

Under HIPAA, individuals 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.

Protect your business with cyber insurance

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.

Small businesses most often need first-party cyber liability insurance. Also called data breach insurance, this policy provides financial protection against data breaches at your business.

You can often add this coverage to your general liability insurance or business owner’s policy (BOP), which combines general liability coverage with commercial property insurance at a discount.

Businesses that recommend software need additional protection

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.

Because most tech businesses need this coverage, it's usually included with their errors and omissions insurance (E&O) in a bundle called tech E&O.

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.

How much does cyber insurance cost in OK?

A small business owner calculating their cyber liability costs

Cyber insurance can be an affordable option for small businesses looking for data breach protection. Several factors affect the cost of a cyber liability policy, including:

  • Amount of sensitive data handled
  • Your industry
  • Coverage limits
  • Number of employees

All of these factors will be instrumental in determining how much cyber liability insurance your small business needs.

What are the penalties for not giving notice of a data breach?

Failure to comply with Oklahoma's data breach notification law could result in severe civil penalties.

The Oklahoma Attorney General or a district attorney has the authority to bring action and may obtain either actual damages for any violation of this act, or a civil penalty of up to $150,000 per breach of the security of the system, or for a series of similar breaches found in a single investigation.

How can businesses prevent data breaches?

For businesses that store data, it's crucial to take appropriate steps to prevent data breaches and protect customers from identity theft and other harm.

Businesses are advised to safeguard PII through a variety of security measures, such as designating one or more employees to coordinate a security policy or program. For better consumer protection, it’s a good idea to conduct an audit of the personal information and unique identifiers that you store in your data systems.

Strong passwords, security questions, two-step authentication, and access codes can provide reasonable data protection for your business, reducing the chance of a security breach by an unauthorized person

Get quotes from trusted carriers with Insureon

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 Oklahoma'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.

Updated: March 4, 2024
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