Written by StorageCraft’s IT News
School databases contain some of the most sensitive information concerning students and faculty members. From grades to health records, addresses to contact information, schools have a lot to lose if they’re caught off guard by a hacker. That’s why developing a plan to keep student data security tight is essential to complying with privacy laws and offering the safest education experience possible.
If you’re on the IT team at a school, be sure you add the following recommendations to your data security strategy:
Keep Up with Software Patches & Updates
It sounds like a given, but often, even experts forget to install the latest updates for their management software. You can’t neglect them when it comes to keeping student data secure, though. If a patch is released to the public to fix a system vulnerability, you better believe that hackers instantly start exploiting these weaknesses, sometimes before IT personnel are even aware there’s an available update. Checking for patches is something simple you can do on a daily basis to keep hackers at bay and student data secure.
Teach Faculty Members About Cybersecurity
Security training can be the single most important defense against cyberattacks and data breaches. If staff are unaware of threats like phishing emails, they’re more likely to click on links they shouldn’t, leading to crippling denial-of-service attacks and malware infections.
Set Permissions & Be Diligent About Browsing
Ensure only people who are meant to access certain data have access to it. Neglecting to set permissions for every single faculty member can quickly lead to eyes on information that shouldn’t be there and can even break privacy laws in many states.
When it comes to surfing the web, instead of blocking only specific sites (which can easily be unsuccessful because of how many sketchy websites there are slipping past firewalls), instruct teachers and the student body to limit their browsing for work purposes only. Limit surfing to sites only related to study and research. Though you may have the odd rule-breaker, most people will respect those guidelines, especially if you train them on the importance of safe surfing.
Place a Focus on Prevention & Plan for the Worst
No matter how strict your security plan is, there’s always a chance a hacker can find a way to infiltrate your system. Maintaining data backups that are easy to recover is the best way to bounce back from many of the trending cyberattacks today.