K-12 schools handle a vast amount of sensitive student information, making it imperative for school IT leaders to implement robust data privacy infrastructure. But what are we talking about when we talk about data privacy infrastructure? Data privacy infrastructure are the tools and systems that help school IT leaders know where student data is, how it is being used, where it is being stored and shared, and what threats exist to its safety. These components of a comprehensive data privacy infrastructure can help you more effectively protect student data privacy.
Data Classification and Mapping
Implementing a comprehensive data classification system that categorizes student information based on sensitivity and usage can help you manage data privacy more effectively. Classify data into categories such as personal information, academic records, and health information. Create data maps that outline the flow of information within the school’s ecosystem, identifying points of access, storage, and transmission.
Secure data at rest and in transit by implementing robust encryption protocols. Encrypt sensitive information stored on servers, databases, and devices to prevent unauthorized access. Ensure that data transmitted between systems and applications is also encrypted, safeguarding against potential interception during transmission.
Access Controls and Authentication
Establish stringent access controls to limit data access to authorized personnel only. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an additional layer of security to user accounts. Adopt role-based access controls (RBAC) to define and manage user permissions based on their roles within the school, ensuring the principle of least privilege is followed.
Secure Data Storage Practices
Choose secure and compliant storage solutions for student data. If utilizing cloud services, select providers with a strong track record in data security and compliance. Regularly audit and monitor data storage systems to identify and address vulnerabilities promptly.
Incident Response and Breach Notification Plan
Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a data breach. Define roles and responsibilities, establish communication protocols, and ensure that the plan is regularly tested and updated. Be prepared to notify relevant parties promptly in the event of a breach, as per legal requirements.
Vendor Management and Third-Party Assessments
Conduct thorough assessments of third-party vendors that handle student data. Ensure that these vendors adhere to the same high standards of data privacy and security. Regularly review and update vendor contracts to reflect current data protection expectations and requirements.
Continuous Monitoring and Auditing
Implement continuous monitoring mechanisms to detect and respond to potential security threats. Regularly conduct internal and external audits to assess the effectiveness of your data privacy infrastructure. Stay proactive in addressing any identified vulnerabilities or areas for improvement.
School Passport’s Privacy Governance Console begins by auto-discovering all applications being used within a district. It then leverages technology to collect data about each application and correlates the apps with 1Edtech’s TrustEd database to rate PII data exposure risk. IT staff members can select whether to filter PII to specific vendors or anonymize it. In short, the Privacy Governance Console within School Passport enables districts to discover data leakage risks and mitigate them. Learn more: https://gg4l.com/privacy-governance-console/