Data Protection is paramount in schools.
Sensitive data should only be accessible to authorised users that have exclusive permission to view it.
Access to this data can be restricted through user names and passwords, password policies, saving in restricted areas, or even using a password protected application to save the data, such as the schools management system. Further information can be found below:
Previously a user would require a username and password as well as a physical connected to the network to access the data, but this has changed in recent years with the expansion of wireless networks that can include guest access.
You should ensure that all user access requires an individual username and password and any generic passwords are periodically changed. You should also check that your wireless network is secure through using the latest encryption standards.
If you are unsure if your wireless network is secure then contact Beebug for a free survey.
Many schools use tape or USB drives to back up their data, but is the data being securely stored? You need to ensure that the any backup media is stored in a secure location such as a fire rated data safe. This prevents casual theft and would also protect it in the event of a fire.
The data should also be saved in an encrypted format in case the media is either lost or stolen. This would prevent an unauthorised user from simply accessing the saved data.
Users with access to data could simply save it to a mobile device such as a laptop or USB drive, which could circumvent any school policies that are in place to protect it. It is essential that users are informed of the schools policies on sensitive data and the risks of taking it offsite. The key to security is knowledge and understanding
If data is to be taken off site then you can increase the security using hardware or software encryption. Encryption would prevent data from being accessed without the appropriate password. If an unauthorised user attempts to access the device then the data could be automatically deleted after a number of failed attempts.
Users could be given remote access to their data from outside of school through a remote access solution, which would remove the risk of the transporting it. There are varying levels of remote access such as remote file access where users can download and upload documents from their home computers.
Alternatively the user could remotely control a school computer from home that would remove the need for the data from actually leave site.
We have solutions and advice concerning all of the above. If you would like more information then please contact us.
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