Essent Supports NRF Call to Standardize Data Breach Notification

Essent is expressing its support for a call by the National Retail Federation to standardize the way U.S. consumers are notified of data breaches.

The National Retail Federation and 43 other organizations representing merchants urged Congress in a letter Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, to pass comprehensive data security legislation.

Breach notification is currently governed by varying legislation in 47 states and 4 federal jurisdictions.

"Standards enhance communication and the ability to quickly and efficiently communicate critical events like data breaches begs a standard,” Essent President & CEO Eric Alessi said. "Essent isn’t a fan of burdensome regulation but strongly believes in necessary communications standards. Essent shares the desire for a single national standard for data breach notification and is hopeful that implementing it will prove reasonable, feasible and effective without undue burden to businesses that would be newly governed by it.”

The group that includes the National Retail Federation is calling for a single national standard that would apply to all businesses, including financial institutions, merchants, payment card processors, technology companies, and telecommunications providers.

It would require the businesses to notify consumers when the business is breached. Proposals currently before Congress would only require merchants collecting payment card numbers to notify consumers of a breach.

"Congress should act to standardize reasonable, timely notification of sensitive data breaches whenever and wherever they occur,” the letter to Congress states.

Essent works tirelessly to keep data secure. This includes employing a Chief Security Officer; participating in security events, courses and education; engineering network security appliances; and monitoring systems around-the-clock. Essent, which believes that insecure software is dangerous, designs its technologies under the presumption that thieves are targeting the technology and its users at all times.

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