What Is This FTC Safeguards Rule for Banks?


Those working in finance know that the Federal Trade Commission know that December 9th is a special date. It’s the deadline for banks and other financial institutions to meet new compliance standards for customer safety.

Do you work for a financial institution? Here’s an overview of what the FTC Safeguards Rule means and how it will affect your job going into December.

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

What is the FTC Safeguards Rule?

First, we need to understand what encompasses financial institutions. This rule will not only apply to banks, but retailers who offer store credit cards; certain car dealerships that lease long-term rentals; property and real estate appraisers; and other institutions that you might not think of immediately when you hear “finance.” View the full list of qualifying businesses here.

So while not everyone who handles money will be subject to the rule, it definitely applies to more businesses than you might first think when you hear the term!

Do you see your job on that list up above? Then YOU will be liable to maintain customer privacy to the standards of the new FTC Rule, after the deadline comes in December.

Better Data Privacy

Although changing your usual routine can be a pain, these kinds of compliance laws will never reach a “final form.” They’ll never be finished. As technology advances and cybercriminals’ plans of attack change accordingly, everyone will have to adopt new habits to protect the privacy of the data that they manage. This includes our personal information as well as the personally identifiable information (PII) entrusted to us at work.

With the FTC Safeguards Rule, let’s refer back to the Trade Commission’s own words to understand what will be required:

“The Safeguards Rule requires covered financial institutions to develop, implement, and maintain an information security program with administrative, technical, and physical safeguards designed to protect customer information. Your information security program must be written, and it must be appropriate to the size and complexity of your business, the nature and scope of your activities, and the sensitivity of the information at issue.”


Wait…What Does Any of That Mean?

Good news! You don’t have to worry about the fine details. It’s up to your security professionals to institute an appropriate info security program, and if you’re with us then we already have it covered.

You may find yourself facing some new policies and trainings in the very near future…now you know why. It’s all in the name of data privacy!

The upcoming deadline for the Safeguards Rule marks yet another win for data privacy and security. When you’re clocked in, you’re the steward for all the customer PII that comes into your care. Financial institutions should already train their employees to effectively safeguard data, and the new regulations are a natural extension of these duties.

Always reach out with lingering questions and concerns. Follow our blog for more breaking news and tips on information security!


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