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According to the new FTC Safeguards rule, you are now considered a financial institution if you’re collecting information in relation to any financial transaction.

What is the FTC Safeguards Rule?

The FTC Safeguards Rule is part of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act, which is designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information held by financial institutions.

The Safeguards Rule applies to organizations that are considered “financial institutions” under the GLB Act, including those involved in lending, brokering, and servicing loans, as well as providing financial advice or credit reports.

Under the Safeguards Rule, financial institutions must implement a comprehensive information security program to protect customer information from unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure, or destruction.

This program must be tailored to the organization’s specific size, complexity, and the nature of its activities.

FTC safeguards

Who’s Impacted by the Rule?

The Rule applies to businesses based on their activities, not their categorization. Section 314.2(h) of the Rule enumerates examples of entities considered as financial institutions, including:

    • Mortgage lenders
    • Payday lenders
    • Finance companies
    • Mortgage brokers
    • Account servicers
    • Check cashers
    • Wire transferors
    • Collection agencies
    • Credit counselors
    • Tax preparation firms
    • Non-federally insured credit unions
    • SEC-exempt investment advisors

Key Elements of an Information Security Program

According to the FTC, an effective information security program under the Safeguards Rule should include the following components:

    • Designate a responsible employee: Assigning employees with the necessary authority, knowledge, and resources to coordinate the information security program is crucial for effective implementation and management.
    • Identify and assess risks: Companies must perform a thorough risk assessment to identify potential threats to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information. This assessment should cover every area of the organization, including employee training and management, information systems, and prevention, detection, and response to security incidents.
    • Design and implement safeguards: To effectively manage information security risks, businesses must design and implement safeguards based on their risk assessment. These safeguards must be carefully selected to address the identified risks and tailored to meet the organization’s specific needs. Once implemented, these safeguards should be regularly monitored and tested to ensure their continued effectiveness.
    • Oversee service providers: Organizations must carefully select and oversee their service providers to ensure they maintain appropriate safeguards for customer information. This includes requiring service providers to implement and maintain their information security program in compliance with the Safeguards Rule.
    • Evaluate and adjust the program: By regularly reviewing and testing security safeguards, businesses can identify and address potential vulnerabilities or gaps in their information security program, improving overall protection against cyber threats and data breaches.

Achieving Compliance with Kyber Security

At Kyber Security, we understand the challenges businesses face when trying to implement a comprehensive information security program in compliance with the FTC Safeguards Rule. Our team of experts can help you navigate the complexities of the rule, assess your organization’s risks, and develop a tailored security program that meets the regulatory requirements.

Our services include:

    • Risk assessment: We perform a thorough assessment of your organization’s current cybersecurity posture, identifying potential risks and vulnerabilities that could lead to unauthorized access, disclosure, or destruction of customer information.
    • Security policy development: We help you develop and implement security policies that align with the requirements of the FTC Safeguards Rule and other applicable regulations. These policies will serve as the foundation for your information security program.
    • Incident response planning: We help you develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines the steps your organization must take in the event of a security breach, ensuring a swift and effective response to minimize potential damage.
    • Continuous monitoring and improvement: Our team of experts provides ongoing support and guidance, ensuring your information security program remains up-to-date and effective in the face of evolving threats

Questions about the FTC Safeguards Rule? Our experts can help.

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