Connecticut recently enacted cybersecurity legislation that provides a safe harbor for businesses that implement a written cybersecurity program. Under the legislation, set to go in effect on October 1, 2021, punitive damages will not be assessed on a business that has suffered a data breach, in the event that there are causes of action alleging a failure to implement reasonable cybersecurity controls, which failure resulted in the breach.

To take advantage of this safe harbor, businesses must implement a written cybersecurity program which contains administrative, technical and physical safeguards that conforms to an industry recognized cybersecurity framework. The recognized frameworks include NIST SP 800-171, NIST SP 800-53, and the ISO/IEC 27000-series. Businesses regulated by HIPAA/HITECH or GLBA may also meet the safe harbor cybersecurity requirements by conforming to the applicable regulatory requirements.

Putting it Into Practice: Businesses operating in Connecticut should review their cybersecurity program and consider implementing any additional measures, to the extent necessary, to take advantage of this new safe harbor.