Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a regulation that would require credit rating agencies to comply with the state’s cybersecurity standards.
The rule would make credit reporting agencies register with the state and subject them to oversight by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).
He proposed the regulation in light of the security breach at Equifax Inc. The personal information of approximately 143 million people was potentially accessed in the hack.
Attorney General Eric Scheiderman issued consumer alerts since the hack came to light and asked consumers to take steps to protect their identities and credit information.
The annual reporting of the law would be required of credit rating agencies. The law would allow DFS to deny or revoke permits if they are found to engage in prohibited activities.
“A person’s credit history affects virtually every part of their lives and we will not sit idly by while New Yorkers remain unprotected from cyberattacks due to lax security,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Oversight of credit reporting agencies will help ensure that personal information is less vulnerable to cyberattacks and other nefarious acts in this rapidly changing digital world. The Equifax breach was a wakeup call.”
Credit reporting agencies would have to register with DFS as of Feb. 1, 2018, and then annually on February 1.
“The data breach at Equifax demonstrates the necessity of strong state regulation like New York’s first in the nation cybersecurity actions,” said Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo. “This is one necessary action of several that DFS will take to protect New York’s markets, consumers and sensitive information from criminals.”
In warning consumers after the breach, Schneiderman said cybercriminals may attempt to attack computers through hacks and phishing attempts.
Attacks may come in several forms, including emails claiming to be Equifax, saying that information on whether data has been compromised is available; emails claiming that there have been issues with a credit card, credit record or other personal finance information; and calls from scammers claiming to be a bank or credit union or fraudulent charges on credit cards because of identity theft.
If you are having consumer credit issues contact our office for a consultation.