Idaho has an impressive selection of colleges and universities that train millions of students annually. Among all these different universities, both students and faculty members entrust their personal and financial information to the different institutions. If anything were to happen to this data, it could be harmful to the students attending the schools as well as the different faculty members. Seven of these major institutions just suffered a data breach due to shared third-party service providers. Students and faculty connected to any of the involved universities could be at great risk because of this.
The College of Western Idaho, North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College, the College of Southern Idaho, Boise State University, and the University of Idaho all suffered from a data breach because the two third-party providers they rely on, the National Student Clearinghouse and the Teacher's Insurance Annuity Association were breached. When these organizations were breached, all the schools listed were breached as well. That means countless students and faculty members lost their information.
The breach is believed to have occurred in June. The Idaho State Board of Education launched a news release about the breach in July, and the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association of America has since remarked that the vulnerabilities are now secured, and the group is protected once again. Even if the breach was fully resolved, substantial information was lost to it.
This data breach impacts students and faculty members for each of the seven Idaho Universities mentioned above. If you attend or work at any of the schools, you should take steps to protect yourself. Individual letters are being sent out informing everyone involved about what they can expect from the breach. If you receive a notice, you should use the credit monitoring services being offered and watch over your accounts closely.
We do not have a count for the files taken from the two organizations involved. We also don't have a specific count for the number of individuals affected by this breach. We only know that it caused trouble for many students and university faculty members.