Data Loss Prevention for K-12 & Higher Education Institutions| March 3, 2023
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a critical concern for K-12 and higher education institutions as they collect and store sensitive information about students, staff, and faculty. This information includes personal data such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and financial information, as well as confidential academic records and research data. With the increasing number of cyber-attacks aimed at educational institutions, these institutions need to have a comprehensive DLP strategy in place to protect their sensitive data and reduce the risk of data loss incidents.
In this article, we’ll dive into the concept of data loss prevention to help educational institutions implement an effective DLP strategy for long-term success.
What Is DLP For Educational Institutions?
One of the key components of a data loss prevention strategy is the use of DLP solutions. These solutions can include software that monitors and controls access to sensitive information, as well as hardware devices such as network firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
DLP software can be configured to monitor specific types of sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers or credit card numbers, and can be set to alert administrators or take automated actions when this information is accessed or transferred. This can include blocking access to the information, encrypting the data, or triggering an incident response plan.
For example, DLP software can monitor and alert administrators when sensitive information is copied to a USB drive or sent via email. This can prevent employees from transferring sensitive information to their devices or sharing it with unauthorized individuals.
DLP software can also be configured to automatically encrypt or redact sensitive information when it is transmitted over the network. This can help to protect the data from being intercepted by hackers or other malicious actors.
DLP hardware devices play a crucial role in protecting against data loss. Network firewalls, for example, can be configured to block unauthorized access to the network and can be set to detect and block specific types of traffic, such as traffic from known malicious IP addresses. Intrusion detection systems can be used to monitor the network for signs of malicious activity and can alert administrators when suspicious activity is detected.
Is Your Current DLP Strategy Effective?
There are many components to a successful DLP strategy that can easily be missed. Other critical aspects include employee training and response planning. K-12 and higher education institutions should provide regular training to staff, faculty, and students on how to recognize and respond to potential threats. This can include training on how to spot phishing emails and other forms of social engineering, as well as best practices for securing and handling sensitive information.
For example, employees should be trained to recognize phishing emails and to understand the risks associated with clicking on links or attachments in these emails. They should also know how to recognize and report suspicious activity on the network.
Employees should be trained on the proper handling of sensitive information. This includes understanding the types of data that are considered sensitive and the appropriate ways to store, transmit, and dispose of this data. Lastly, they should be trained on the importance of keeping their login credentials secure and not sharing them with others.
In the event of a data loss incident, K-12 and higher education institutions should have a well-established incident response plan in place. This plan should include steps to contain the incident, investigate the cause, and mitigate the impact. The institution should also notify affected individuals and regulatory authorities as required by law.
In the event of a data breach, for instance, the incident response plan should include steps to quickly identify and contain the breach, determine the scope of the incident, and take steps to prevent further data loss. The plan should also include steps for notifying affected individuals and regulatory authorities, as well as steps for conducting a post-incident review to identify and address any vulnerabilities that may have contributed to the incident.
How Concensus Helps Educational Institutions Prioritize DLP
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a critical concern for K-12 and higher education institutions, as they collect and store sensitive information about students, staff, and faculty. Preventing data loss in these institutions requires a combination of employee training, security protocols, and incident response plans. Additionally, institutions should have a comprehensive data loss prevention strategy in place to protect against both internal and external threats.
Concensus helps K-12 and higher education institutions prioritize data loss prevention to protect their sensitive information, which reduces the risk of data loss incidents and prevents the negative consequences that can result from a data breach or security incident. We assist organizations in implementing a comprehensive DLP strategy that includes DLP solutions, employee training, and incident response plans. By taking these steps, K-12 and higher education institutions can better protect their sensitive data and reduce the risk of data loss incidents.
Begin Your Data Loss Prevention Journey
Concensus specializes in helping organizations protect the critical data they store and transmit with a variety of services. Contact Concensus online or by calling 724-898-1888 to schedule a security assessment.