The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

| January 13, 2023

As consumers grow to become more aware of the importance of protecting their personal and financial information, financial institutions must take measures to help safeguard this data. When you think of tech and education, you don’t normally think of things like data privacy, but it can play a huge role in the operations of K-12 and higher ed institutions.

The very nature of the education industry means the people who work there are regularly processing personal information, such as grades, address information, payments and much more. Students and their families rely on school systems to protect sensitive information, and having safeguards in place is an important part of operations.

Schools can benefit from understanding what the GLBA is and how it applies to them.

What is the GLBA?

The GLBA was signed into law in 1999 and is a comprehensive financial services reform legislation. It requires all financial institutions to provide a written disclosure to customers about their information handling practices, including how they protect customers’ nonpublic information.

This law is important to educational institutions like K-12 schools and universities that engage in financial activities, as this means that schools must ensure they are meeting GLBA standards to protect student data and to bring peace of mind to parents or guardians who trust in them to keep their information secure.

How Does the GLBA Impact Education

The GLBA has specific guidelines and rules that educational institutions must follow to ensure the security and privacy of student information. The act requires organizations to put measures in place to protect student data, some of which include the following:

  • Establish physical, administrative, and technical safeguards: Schools are required to meet standards for physical security, such as locks on doors and computers, as well as administrative and technical safeguards like secure passwords and firewalls.
  • Conduct risk assessments: Schools must evaluate their policies and procedures to identify risks that may put student information at risk and put additional controls in place to reduce those risks.
  • Educate employees: It is also important to train employees on the importance of data privacy and the protocols they should follow when handling student information.
  • Protect student information: Schools must put in place measures to specifically protect student information, such as encrypting data, storing confidential information securely, and limiting access to student data.

By adhering to the GLBA standards, educational institutions can ensure they are providing a safe environment for student information and that families can trust their information is secure.

When Does The GLBA Apply to Schools?

Generally speaking, the GLBA applies to any educational institution that provides financial services. This includes schools that provide student loans, receive payment for tuition, or offer other varied types of financial services.

The GLBA can also be applied to schools that outsource some of these services to a third-party provider, as the school is still ultimately responsible for protecting the student data that passes through them. Schools should make sure to review any agreements with third-party providers to make sure they are meeting the GLBA requirements as well.

Adhering To The Requirements

By understanding the rules of this act, schools can ensure they are meeting the requirements and providing a safe environment for students’ personal and financial information. A quick look at the GLBA and it’s clear why it is important to educational institutions.

Schools must adhere to the requirements of the GLBA to ensure they are protecting student data and providing a safe environment.

Educational institutions need to be able to provide students and their families the assurance that their private and financial information is secure and protected. As such, everyone can have peace of mind knowing the data they trust to these institutions is secure.

Grants Are Available for GLBA Cybersecurity

There are cybersecurity grants available to help educational institutions improve their network security to meet GLBA and other data protection needs. 

Need Help Understanding Data Protection Rules?

Divining deeper into topics like the GLBA and applying it to your situation can help make sure you know how your data and information are being secured and protected. Understanding the act’s importance and following its requirements will also ensure your school is providing a safe environment for student information and that families can trust their information is secure.

Great cybersecurity practices are a critical component of any organization’s IT security strategy, this is especially true of educational environments.

At Concensus Technologies, we understand the complexities of the GLBA can be a bit daunting. We are here to help guide you through the process of understanding the act and how it applies to your business or institution.

Contact Us to learn more about how we can help you protect your data and ensure compliance with the GLBA.

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