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New Cyber Security Bill Lauded

State officials today held a ceremony Thursday marking the governor's recent signing of a bill that gives legal protection to companies that meet minimum cyber security standards.

The new law reduces the financial awards people could win in a lawsuit, if their personal information is stolen from a company that followed the guidelines. Beatriz Gutierrez is chief executive officer of CONNSTEP, a consulting firm affiliated with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. Gutierrez says the new law will encourage companies to focus time and money on digital defenses, instead of worrying about lawsuits.

"It's expensive to get ready,” she said. “But we want them to use the resources on being prepared for a cyber attack, and not be concerned about the punitive area of defending themselves when they have done the right thing."

Under the law, people could only recover punitive damages if a business is grossly negligent in its efforts to protect its customers' personal information. The law had the support of both Democratic and Republican legislators, and several industry groups.

Matt Dwyer is a producer for Where We Live and a reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department.

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