DFS Cybersecurity Compliance – 1/4/19


Hello Friends,

Many of your received an end of the year message from our Department of Financial Services about compliance with the new Cybersecurity Regulation.  New York State is serious about cyber security and this is one of their many efforts to protect you, your clients and our financial services industry.  We at ITI support this program.  However, to many individuals compliance is still a bit confusing.

In a nutshell, the DFS wants each licensee to confirm, each and every year, that they are taking steps to prevent bad actors from hacking into our computer networks.  Big entities, including brokerage houses, insurance carriers and large agencies must have sophisticated systems and regularly test their defenses using a “third party” to ensure system integrity.  Small agencies and independent individual licensees are exempt from many of these requirements, but they have compliance requirements.  Every licensee must still have a written “cybersecurity program” in place.

Your cybersecurity program will describe in writing the steps you need to take if you find that your computer has been subject to a “Cybersecurity Event”.

A Cybersecurity Event is “any act or attempt, successful or unsuccessful, to gain unauthorized access to, disrupt or misuse and Information System or information System or information stored on such Information  System. 

Remember, this is not your run of the mill problem with your computer, restarting your computer is not going to be enough and at that point it is too late to simply install an anti-virus program.  You need to do more!  You will need to contact the companies you have access to and let them know your login credentials have been compromised. Your companies should help you from there.  You also will need to notify the DFS.  Keep in mind this is where those bad actors use your login and password to get into the bigger systems.

So, where do you start?  If you are uncertain, your first step might be with your carriers, especially if you have an agent contract with them.  If you are truly an independent, the DFS has lots information to help.  Remember, this is a good program and will only take you a short time to complete each year.

Step 1.  Follow the link from your email from the DFS: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/cybersecurity.htm

Step 2.  Click the link to the Cybersecurty Portal and enter your email address and password.  If you do not remember Your password, there is a “forgot password” link to get you moving forward.

Step 3.  Follow the prompts through, it is very straight forward.

Step 4. Remember, there is a second step.  You need to complete the “Compliance” step also.  That is the middle tab.

We at ITI cannot help you answer the questions and we cannot tell you what exemptions may apply to you, but we hope this message helps you understand this important program a bit better.

Be well.

Bob Secovnie

Robert@ITI-NY.com

 

News From the NYS Dept of Financial Services


Hello my friends.

Over the last 22 years we at ITI have worked to bring you education classes and news from our insurance industry to help you to keep up to date.  Adding this BLOG page to our website brings that one-step further.  Licensing issues are important and we will do our best to bring you information about changes that impact your business.  The most recent updates comes from the Department of Financial Services Licensing Bureau.

On Tuesday, December 11th, the NYSDFS released a memo announcing changes to Insurance Law Sections 2103 and 2014, licensing for Property Casualty Agents and Brokers.  This new change (S7634-A/A9527-A) allows individuals to complete their pre-licensing training online, instead of in a classroom setting.  The new Law took effect immediately.  We agree with the sponsors of this legislation that licensing will now be much easier to obtain for people in rural areas around New York.

Subject: New York State Department of Financial Services Insurance Licensing Education – PC prelicensing course

On Friday, December 7, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law changes to Sections 2103 and 2104 that address prelicensing education requirements.

Effective immediately, those seeking to obtain a Property Casualty license must complete an approved course requiring a minimum of 90 hours of classroom instruction or the equivalent in correspondence work, or a course offered over the internet. Those seeking a Personal Lines license  must complete an approved course requiring a minimum of 40 hours of classroom instruction or the equivalent in correspondence work, or a course offered over the internet.

All courses must be approved by this Department before they can be offered to the public.  We are developing criteria to guide you in the development of online courses and will publish them in the very near future.  You must submit course approval applications to obtain approval.

Please email any questions or concerns to coned@dfs.ny.gov.  We are eager to work with you to make these courses available as soon as possible.

            New York State Department of Financial Services
            One Commerce Plaza, Albany, NY 12257

The other significant new law changes the date for all corporate license renewals to June 30th of “Odd Numbered Years”.  This law takes effect July 1, 2019.  This change will certainly help corporations with license management.

We should note here that another change for corporate sub-licensees was made law in 2017 that enables business entities to renew their licenses as long as the sub-licensees are current with their licenses.  Sub-licensees no longer need to complete their education to match their corporate renewal dates.

Thank you for reading and feel free to write a note and let me know your thoughts too.

Bob Secovnie
Robert@itiny.com