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Top Data Protection Tips for Educational Institutions

3 Mins read

This article will provide you with some top data protection tips for educational institutions

Schools and higher education institutions are data gold mines, gathering much more sensitive information on prospective and current students, graduates, and workers than private businesses do about their clients. Universities and schools frequently run massive networks across multiple campuses, with a high turnover rate of students and staff, with thousands of individuals connecting to their online portals across a variety of devices at all hours of the day and night, from personally identifiable information (PII) such as addresses and social security numbers to health records and payment information. The education sector faces a unique set of problems when it comes to data protection, but by using the proper policies and technologies, businesses can enhance overall data protection and avoid significant data breaches from damaging their information.

Here are some data protection tips in educational organizations

Data storage

It is one of the data protection tips. On-premise storage is preferred by many educational institutions because it gives them complete control over their data. Physical security is a major concern in this situation, and measures should be made to safeguard the data servers. Larger institutions, on the other hand, may want to use cloud-based storage alternatives. It not only provides additional capacity (which is readily expanded), but it also provides a variety of data privacy protection choices. Here are a few tips to assist you in making a better decision. Make sure data encryption is enabled when using on-premise storage. Ensure that ex-staff employees do not have access to the institution’s servers once they depart. Select a cloud-based service with advanced security features such as strong encryption, SSL/TSL protocols, and zero-knowledge encryption. Compared to public cloud servers, private clouds provide better security and control. Examine hybrid data storage options, which provide a good combination of cloud and on-premise storage.

Strong data protection standards

Various types of data are handled by educational institutions. Data is passed from a student to a teaching member and then to the administration. Data breaches may be avoided by implementing strict data security standards and procedures. To minimize phishing attempts, cyberbullying, and data breaches, social media rules should be established. Students and employees should be taught how to use social media securely while connected to the institution’s network. Access to the internet should be governed by policies. Students and employees, for example, should be warned about using websites that contain explicit information, do not have an SSL certificate (https), and click on hazardous links, among other things.

Secure CMS

Websites of educational institutions are vulnerable to assault since they provide an easy way into the database. Given the vast quantity of sensitive student and administrative data stored on the website, it becomes even more critical to keep it safe. Consider the following factors while selecting a secure CMS. An open-source CMS is usually a superior alternative since it is supported by a community that is continually striving to improve it. It is among one of the data protection tips.

Security awareness programs

It’s become critical to hold regular security awareness seminars and educate students, teachers, and administrative personnel. Because the types and levels of security threats change over time, it’s critical to keep security policies and compliance laws up to date. It is necessary to raise awareness about how to choose the proper digital communication techniques and how to utilize them securely. Regular sessions on login security, including strong passwords and usernames, as well as why they shouldn’t share them with anybody. Clicking on dangerous third-party links and downloading malicious email attachments should be avoided.

Monitor data regularly

With so much sensitive data being kept and transferred around at educational institutions, pinpointing the source of the assault can be difficult. It is critical that data stays visible, and that IT personnel are aware of where data is kept and transferred. What is the solution? DLP (Data Loss Prevention) system Data loss prevention (DLP) software is a collection of tools and processes that guarantees data is not tampered with, lost, or mishandled. It provides deep insights and visibility of data, as well as controls that can aid with data security.

Limit the use of portable devices

Carrying work in portable devices (such as USBs) and connecting them to the educational institution’s computer is a frequent habit among students. This is a simple yet significant vulnerability that requires quick action. It is necessary to raise awareness about how to use portable devices securely on campus. It is among one of the data protection tips.

Prepare a backup plan in case something goes wrong

Data breaches can be avoided by following the aforementioned measures to the letter, but you can’t fully rule out the chance. Make sure you have a catastrophe recovery strategy in place at all times. The IT team should guarantee that, even if a hacker assault occurs, everything else continues to run properly. It is critical to have insurance coverage to cover the costs of a data breach assault.

Technology has both advantages and disadvantages. In today’s fast-paced technological world, it’s more vital than ever to safeguard sensitive and personal data. Schools and colleges deal with a lot of sensitive data on students, parents, faculty, and administration. Login passwords, addresses, social security numbers, and other personal information are all in danger of being exposed and abused by the evil world. Education is the second most susceptible industry in terms of hacker attacks. Data protection methods can aid in the prevention of potential assaults.

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