Financial information is a valuable target for cybercrime, for obvious purposes such as redirection of funds via online banking platforms or hijacked tax returns. Banks were among the first targets of cybersecurity attacks in the 1990s and Congress moved quickly to enact regulatory oversight to protect consumers’ electronic financial information and the money associated with it. But banks aren’t the only types of organizations that process financial information: higher education institutions process plenty of student financial data, especially financial aid information.
Cyber Risk and Education
As banks improve their security posture and become less appealing targets, cybercriminals increasingly target educational institutions’ financial records.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”, US Code § 6801), passed in 1999, requires financial services organizations, which include postsecondary educational institutions, to ensure the security and confidentiality of student financial aid records and information. Thus, higher education institutions, such as universities, community colleges, and trade schools that process student financial aid information are subject to the same cybersecurity requirements as banks.
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