Challenges and Ideas

Recent attack vectors have left educators reeling from massive data breaches due to ignorance and a lack of consistent procedures for safeguarding sensitive data. 

Just as hackers employ encryption to deny access to data on an ransomware-infected machine, so can educators and students learn to use encryption to prevent unauthorized access to data. Popular data encryption tools are available. Are you using them?

Obstacle #1 - Not a Priority?

For many districts, safeguarding sensitive data isn't a priority.  Some tips for making it one:

Obstacle #2 - Expensive & Enterprise Level?

Establish procedures for handling sensitive data in your classroom and/or office. Ensure that data containing personally identifiable information (PII), as well as usernames/passwords to popular services, is encrypted. 

Failed cybersecurity efforts represent a problem at large for society. The consequences are also felt in schools given improperly trained staff, students, and a lack of policies and procedures. 

Cybersafety has a direct impact on the cybersecurity of an organization. The less cybersafe staff and students are, the greater the threat to personally identifiable information (PII).

Need more training and technical info?

Did you know that if data is encrypted and a data breach occurs, you are not obligated to report it? This is the power of data encryption and can potentially spare the District from unnecessary litigation and expense. This is known as an encryption safe harbor. 

Texas defines a data breach in terms of sensitive personal information only if the data items are not encrypted (Source: Data Breach Charts, Baker-Hostetler). See other links to the left.

This is a question you will get. Make sure you keep your response simple and make it a requirement of dealing with sensitive data.