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

Wyoming data breach notification laws state that any business that experiences a breach must notify affected residents in the most expedient time possible without unreasonable delay. Notices to residents can be delivered via written notice or electronically.

What is a data breach?

A data breach is the unauthorized disclosure 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?

Wyoming's data breach notification law defines personal information as an individual's first name or first initial and last name in combination with one or more of the following data elements:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license number
  • Financial account number, credit card number, or debit card number in combination with a security code or other means of access to a resident's financial account
  • Federal, tribal, or state government issued identification card
  • Shared secrets or security tokens that are known to be used for data based authentication
  • A username or email address, in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account
  • A birth or marriage certificate
  • Medical information, including medical history, mental or physical condition, or medical treatment or diagnosis
  • Health insurance information including health insurance policy number, subscriber identification number, or other unique identifier used by a health insurer
  • Unique biometric data
  • An individual taxpayer identification number

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

Businesses must report security breaches to affected residents "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay."

What are Wyoming's data breach notice requirements?

Wyoming state law outlines when and how businesses need to respond to a security breach. Breaches of security must be reported when they are believed to have compromised the personal information of residents and there is a risk of identity theft or other fraud.

Businesses must report security breaches to affected residents "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay." Delays may be permitted only when a law enforcement agency states in writing that the notification could seriously impede a criminal investigation.

Permitted methods include written notice and electronic notice, such as an e-mail notice. A substitute notice is allowed when notification costs would exceed $10,000 for Wyoming-based businesses, or over $250,000 for entities not solely based in Wyoming.

The same applies if a Wyoming-based business finds that over 10,000 people were affected, or 500,000 for businesses not solely based in the state. Substitute notices are also allowed if the business doesn't have sufficient contact information for the affected residents. The substitute notice should consist of the following:

  • Conspicuous posting of the notice on the business's website
  • Notification of major statewide media
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What do business owners need to include in a data breach notice?

Data breach notices sent to Wyoming residents must include:

  • The types of personal identifying information involved in the breach
  • A general description of the breach incident
  • The approximate date of the breach
  • Any actions taken by the business to prevent further breaches
  • Whether notification was delayed as a result of a law enforcement investigation
  • A toll-free number and address for each of the major credit reporting agencies
  • Information on how to place a fraud alert or security freeze and advice that directs the person to remain vigilant by reviewing account statements

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 e-mail if they've agreed to electronic communication, within 60 days of the discovery of a breach.

Protect your business with cyber liability insurance

The cost of a data breach can be significant, which is why cyber liability 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 liability insurance cost?

Businessperson calculating the cost of cyber liability insurance.

Cyber liability 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 Wyoming's data breach notification laws could result in severe penalties. The Wyoming Attorney General has the exclusive right to bring action against a business to address any violations, and command any other relief, if deemed appropriate.

How can businesses prevent data breaches?

For businesses that store personal and financial data, it's crucial to take appropriate steps to prevent data breaches.

Businesses are advised to safeguard PII and data privacy through a variety of security measures, such as designating one or more employees to coordinate a security program. It’s a good idea to conduct an audit of the personal information and unique identifiers 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 unauthorized acquisition of electronic files.

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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 Wyoming'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: May 4, 2023
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