It’s not been a good week, or month, for protecting the personal information of students. If it wasn’t bad enough having to take out a loan for college, 3.3 million students now discover that their student loan information has been stolen from Educational Credit Management Corporation as reported in eWeek yesterday.
Also this week, across the pond in the UK, 9,000 students had their personal information stolen from a Barnet Borough Council member’s home. In this case the information included not only names and addresses, but indicators for language, gifted and talented, and special education needs. Based on the response by Barnet Borough Council to this data breach, it is safe to assume that the wisdom of storing such sensitive information on unencrypted CD-ROMs and USB memory sticks, is not being viewed as gifted or talented.
And then earlier in March there was the data breach at Vanderbilt University affecting 7174 students, and the Cal State University in Los Angeles data breach of math grades and SSNs for 232 students, and then the P2P breach at New Mexico State University that exposed 300 students SSNs.
It seems a rather cruel lesson to become a data breach victim even before you are out of school. We started an initiative a couple of years ago to encourage educational organizations to provide secure file transfer capabilities for use by faculty and students and Help Prepare Digital Natives for the Workplace. I’m happy to report that many universities have now deployed Accellion to protect the transfer of sensitive student information, and in the process are training a whole new generation about how to protect sensitive data.
If you handle student data and are concerned about your file transfer security grade report, please give us a call. We are here to help.
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