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IT Compliance

Massachusetts Data Security Law
(201 CMR 17.00) Compliance

201 cmr 17.00 Compliance with Triton Technologies

The Massachusetts Data Security Law, officially known as 201 CMR 17.00, was enacted in response to a decade of escalating data breaches, hacks, theft, and personal data compromises. This imperative legislation has been in force since 2009, signifying Massachusetts’ commitment to protecting its residents’ personal information, regardless of where they are in the world.


Triton Technologies offers invaluable support in ensuring compliance with this stringent data security law. Our solutions streamline the categorization, recognition, and standardization of log data, simplifying the process of analysis and reporting. With our powerful alarming features, your analysts can receive timely notifications that highlight critical events, thereby enhancing your organization’s ability to adhere to the Massachusetts Data Security Law.

MGL 201.cmr.17
cyber security incident reporting

Understanding the Massachusetts Data Security Law

The Massachusetts Data Security Law, codified as 201 CMR 17.00, was officially implemented on the 1st of March 2010. At the time of its enactment, it stood as one of the most comprehensive data privacy laws in the United States. Since then, a number of other U.S. states have introduced even more robust data privacy legislation, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Virginia Consumer Data Privacy Act (VCDPA). In many respects, Massachusetts’ early data security law served as a precursor to these influential and far-reaching regulations.


Looking ahead, in early 2022, Massachusetts embarked on an initiative to update and strengthen its data privacy regulations with the introduction of the Massachusetts Information Privacy and Security Act (MIPSA). This new legislation, which promises even stricter data protection measures, moved to the state committee on Senate Ways and Means on the 3rd of January 2023, signifying the state’s ongoing commitment to data security and privacy.


Triton Technologies plays a crucial role in assisting organizations in compliance with the ever growing data privacy landscape, including the upcoming MIPSA. Our solutions empower your business to meet the rigorous requirements of these laws by facilitating efficient data management and incident response. By harnessing Triton’s tools, you can ensure that your organization stays ahead of regulatory changes, thereby minimizing the risk of non-compliance and potential penalties associated with the Massachusetts Data Security Law and its successors.

MA 201 cmr 17: Applicability

The Massachusetts Data Security Law mandates compliance from a broad spectrum of organizations. This includes any enterprise that receives, retains, or otherwise manages the personal data of Massachusetts residents, especially in the context of marketing goods or services. Furthermore, the law extends its oversight to companies that acquire personal information in an employment-related context.


Importantly, it’s worth noting that the reach of 201 CMR 17.00 isn’t confined solely to businesses operating within Massachusetts. It also encompasses entities outside the state that handle the personal information of Massachusetts residents. This expansive jurisdiction underscores the law’s unwavering commitment to safeguard the personal information of Massachusetts residents, irrespective of where it is managed.

MA Data Security Law: Scope, Requirements, and Obligations

In accordance with 17.03 of the law, every entity that possesses or holds a license for personal information pertaining to a resident of Massachusetts is required to establish, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program. This program should be documented in one or more accessible parts and encompass administrative, technical, and physical safeguards appropriate to:


(a) The size, scope, and nature of the business of the entity responsible for safeguarding personal information.

(b) The available resources of the entity.

(c) The volume of stored data.

(d) The necessity for security and confidentiality of both consumer and employee information.


Furthermore, the safeguards outlined in this program must align with those prescribed for the protection of personal information and data of a similar nature as defined in state or federal regulations that may govern the entity holding or licensing such information. Compliance is mandatory for any entity that has access to citizens’ data.


Gone are the days of mere hope; all entities are now obligated to have a structured plan in place.

Healthcare Data Disaster Plan - Required

In case of an incident, businesses must have a plan in place, as mandated by HIPAA. This plan should include procedures for data restoration. Documenting how patient data will be protected and recovered is a minimum requirement. Robust plans may encompass communication strategies, alternative sites, and post-incident business operations to ensure organizational continuity.

Computer System Requirements - Compulsory

Entities that own or license personal information of Massachusetts residents and electronically store or transmit such information must establish and maintain a security system for their computers, including wireless systems, to the extent technically feasible. Usernames, passwords, tokens, biometric authentication, and more are now required, and passwordless systems and auto-login are no longer acceptable.

Physical Restrictions - Obligatory

Entities must implement secure access control measures to: (a) Restrict access to records and files containing personal information to authorized personnel performing their job duties. (b) Assign unique identifications and passwords, distinct from vendor-supplied default passwords, to each individual with computer access, designed to maintain access control security integrity. Leaving paperwork on a desk and going home is no longer an option. Access to citizen data should be restricted to authorized personnel only.

Encryption of Personal Information - Mandatory

Encryption is required for all transmitted records and files containing personal information across public networks. Additionally, all data containing personal information that is to be transmitted wirelessly must be encrypted. If you transport it, you must secure it.

Monitoring - Compulsory

Entities must reasonably monitor their systems to detect unauthorized use or access to personal information. Notifications about what not to do are no longer acceptable; access to data must be logged.

Firewalls, Patches, and Maintenance - Required

Files containing personal information on systems connected to the Internet must have reasonably up-to-date firewall protection and operating system security patches, designed to maintain the security of personal information.

Antivirus/Endpoint Protection - Mandatory

Entities must use reasonably up-to-date versions of system security agent software that includes malware protection and up-to-date patches and virus definitions. Free antivirus and antimalware solutions are no longer acceptable; legitimate and robust protection against viruses and data breaches is essential.

Training - Compulsory

Employee education and training on the proper use of computer security systems and the importance of personal information security are required. Employees must be made aware of security threats, phishing, and intrusions.

Why Should You Comply with 201 cmr 17.00?

When it comes to 201 CMR 17.00 compliance, the stakes are high. The law mandates that all service providers commit to contractual agreements that bind them to meet the exacting standards set forth in the Massachusetts Data Security Law. It is equally imperative for organizations to exercise prudence and thoroughness in their selection of third-party vendors who play a role in advancing their business objectives.


Enforcement of 201 CMR 17.00 is entrusted to the Massachusetts Attorney General. This regulatory authority is responsible for initiating all enforcement actions. The Attorney General’s office will diligently inform any entity found in violation of the law and will impose stringent compliance deadlines. Businesses that neglect to comply following notification of a violation are at risk of facing civil penalties, which can reach as high as $5,000 per affected individual.

How Can Triton Technologies Help?

Streamlined Compliance with 201 CMR 17.00

Triton Technologies offers an advanced automation suite to simplify your process toward achieving 201 CMR 17.00 compliance. In today’s data-driven landscape, the demand for a robust and efficient system for managing log collection, archiving, and data recovery has never been greater. Our automation suite upholds the most stringent data security standards. With our IT solutions, you can comply with the requirements with precision, accuracy, and efficiency.

Log Collection and Management

Triton Technologies provides a platform for the collection and management of critical logs. This ensures that your organization can effectively track and keep valuable data, reducing the risks associated with potential data loss.

Effortless Data Recovery

Our advanced automation suite also facilitates effortless data recovery, ensuring that your organization is well-prepared to mitigate the impact of any unforeseen incidents. With Triton’s solution, you can recover your data swiftly and preserve business continuity.

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Ready to take control of your business's data privacy? Embrace compliance with the Massachusetts Data Security Law Compliance through our consultation services today.