Student Records Are At High Risk of Data Theft

Since students don’t have much money and are only at an institute for a few years, schools and colleges might not feel the need for high-grade security and having enterprise-level data security experts as part of their IT team. But the risks to that data, especially in the world of GDPR and just as great as for a company or enterprise.

By Chris Knight

Here’s a fun story, when I was at college, I had a part-time job doing data entry for the faculty. During that time I could have stolen every record, adjusted grades for friends, or wiped out the entire system and its backups – kept on disks in a usually open safe.

Hopefully, today’s schools and colleges are savvier when it comes to data security and information awareness. But there are many that just take on some third-party software and get on with the business of educations without giving it a further thought about what the application does with that data, how or where it is stored and who has access to it.

What happens when that software has bugs of flaws in the cloud era? Here’s one example of a student who found out, and told the company, who failed to patch it for months. There are plenty of software and service providers focused on the education market, but who checks their software is secure, that their workers are using strong data protection methods?

Security is the First Order of any Business

Most schools and colleges are pretty small, and lack the IT knowledge or expertise to operate in a secure way. If a provider says their product is encrypted and secure, that might be enough for the institution, without asking further questions. Or the school leaders might not think enterprise-quality security is a worthwhile expense. However, in the cloud era, data security is not as expensive as people think, but is essential and not a luxury.

Providers of security solutions like can ask the questions that need to be asked. They can ensure the school’s networks are secure against the massive array of threats that are lined against them (from malware and virus attacks, phishing or ransomware threats, disaffected students trying to break in, or weak password and access rights management).

Penetration testing will ensure the network is secure, and changes can be made to boost security and improve server administration, or how third-party cloud services or storage are accessed and managed.

Endpoint protection can help ensure a college’s devices are secured and that the huge number of smartphones, notebooks, WiFi access points and other devices do not create a weakpoint that hackers can exploit.

Finally, so many businesses and schools fail to make backups in a secure fashion, and KokoBo can ensure that backups happen regularly and are secure to protect the student and company data. This is critical should the college be hit by any natural or technical disaster or be hit by some new data threat.

Getting back up and running quickly is essential and with colleges and other institutes being hacked on a daily basis, getting professional security advice and protection now is the bare minimum any school can do.