New Cyber Security Requirements for Schools and Colleges

Today, you can be certain that when it comes to Cyber Security, it isn’t a question of “if,” but “when” and “how often” a security breach will occur. It’s no wonder that at the FSA Conference this year, two of the most gripping sessions were on Cybersecurity topics.
The first session offers a good high-level overview of some of the recent federal IT security initiatives and how they impact the Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, and institutions. It also covers best practices for managing information and information systems to protect data, prevent identity theft, and provide security for students and their personal information.
The second session was presented by the very funny and nearly ready for prime time Tiina K.O. Rodrigue. Her presentation defines data security, compliance requirements, and gives an overview of available tools to help schools avoid risks to its federal student aid access.
According to Rodrigue, “educational institutions are specifically being targeted because of the current state of ad-hoc security coupled with the educational environment being a rich trove of emails, information, and research.” Therefore, beginning in 2018, the Graham Leach Bliley Act which requires financial institutions including schools and colleges to explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive data will be a required annual audit item for all schools, colleges, and universities.