Message from President Randy Moffett
As you may be aware, the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) recently experienced a potential breach of security. Iron Mountain Incorporated, the state’s contractor for data storage, recently lost some of this agency’s backup media. After receiving the notice of the breach of security, the proper authorities were notified and an investigation was launched. To date, the data has not been recovered. The data is compressed and requires special software, specific computer equipment and sophisticated computer skills to access it. There is no reason to believe that the information has been accessed, that it has been misused in any way or that it will be misused.
However, LOSFA is taking all steps necessary to inform affected individuals of the potential risk of identity theft and to advise on ways to protect their privacy. As a result, they have also requested that post-secondary institutions throughout the state share this information with students who may be exposed to this potential risk. While the lost data is not easily read and the risk is minimal, the risk is nonetheless real.
LOSFA has established a web site, www.osfa.la.gov/notice.htm which will allow students and their parents to determine if their data was a part of the lost media. Individuals who determine that their information was potentially exposed will be provided additional steps to protect themselves. There is also a call center (1-800-645-7990) established to assist students with questions and instructions regarding this data breach.
While this event is regrettable, remote data storage is mandatory to ensure business continuity in the event of a catastrophic event. LOSFA is currently investigating more secure avenues to prevent and/or further mitigate this type of occurrence.