Preparing Your Business to Comply With New York State’s SHIELD Act

Click here for printer friendly PDF of this article.

As we begin a new year, organizations should continue to be prepared to address challenges arising from the ongoing proliferation of cybersecurity threats that wreak havoc on businesses and customers. In response to an increase in cybersecurity incidents, a number of state and federal laws have been passed, including New York State’s recently enacted “The Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act,” commonly referred to as the “SHIELD Act”.

The SHIELD Act’s provisions are not effective until March 21st of this year. This means, organizations still have time to review their existing practices and cybersecurity policies to minimize exposure to data breaches and to ensure compliance with applicable laws, including the SHIELD Act.

This communication is intended to summarize the material provisions of the SHIELD Act (and other relevant cybersecurity laws that may impact you) and to assist you in determining whether you need to comply with the new law. We have also proposed certain best practices that can be implemented to minimize the likelihood of a cybersecurity incident and to ensure compliance with relevant cybersecurity laws.

What is the SHIELD Act?

The SHIELD Act imposes requirements that are aimed to reduce the likelihood of data breaches by requiring certain individuals, businesses and organizations to adopt preventative cybersecurity programs.

Any individual, business or organization (including non-profit organizations) that owns or licenses computerized data which receive, collect, or maintain “private information” of New York residents must comply with the law. In practice, this means every employer in New York must comply with the SHIELD Act, as in all likelihood the employer will possess, at a minimum, “private information” relating to its employees.

Legal Analysis on Status of Maserati Car Crash Investigation

WGRZ 2 On Your Side recently aired a report in response to outcry in the community regarding the status of an investigation involving a fatal car crash that occurred approximately two months ago.

In October, a Toyota was struck by a Maserati on Seneca Street in South Buffalo. Two passengers in the Toyota died as a result of the crash. WGRZ reports that they have heard from many in the community who want to know why charges have not been filed in the crash and why authorities have not revealed the identity of the driver of the Maserati involved in the crash.

In response to these questions, WGRZ interviewed Erie County District Attorney John Flynn for an update on the case.  Attorney Barry Covert was also interviewed to provide legal analysis for the report.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Addresses Concerns Over New York State Bail Reform

New York State’s new criminal justice reform is continuing to capture media attention.  Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed by WGRZ 2 On Your Side to provide legal analysis for their latest report on the new law.

As detailed in a previous post, New York State will enact new prison bail reform, which will eliminate cash bail for misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses.  The criminal justice reform bill passed both houses of the state legislature, was signed in to law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and is schedule to take effect on January 1, 2020.

However, the new bail reform has generated criticism from law enforcement and elected officials in New York State.  Although the changes have created push back from law enforcement, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has defended the reform.