Why this is Critical for the Education Industry
If you work in the education industry in the US, you may be aware that schools, as well as higher education institutions fall under the purview of the confidentiality and privacy protection norms defined by:
- Independent state legislations that lay down stringent norms on the collection, processing and protection of personal information of students and faculty.
- Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulation that protects the financial privacy of students and faculty, and allows usage of this information only for tax purposes.
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which specifically mandates the privacy of student education records.
From personal information and financial data, to medical reports and assessments, you are required to protect all the records pertaining to your students, faculty or staff members. This is a critical requirement, not only for organizations that are part of the education sector, but also for businesses that directly service the education industry in any manner or capacity.
If you look at the industry-specific number of data breaches or hacks, particularly in schools, the instances have more than doubled in the last few years. Moreover, a 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study indicates that the average cost that schools incurs is $166 per stolen record, as compared to the overall average of $148. This takes into account the extent of the breach, the time taken to identify and arrest the damage, and the expenses incurred in notifying the victims or resolving lawsuits.
Why Should a Formal Document and Hard Drive Destruction Process Be in Place?
You are familiar with the ‘inclusive culture’ and ‘free exchange of information’ mindset that is typical of schools or other higher education institutions. Understandably, it is difficult to achieve the delicate balance between robust security protocols and maintaining a culture of openness. Some of the other difficulties in this sector are:
- Insufficient awareness of technology and information security measures.
- Absence of unified, sophisticated applications to store and manage student and employee records.
- Even if some schools invest in the latest application and software, several users play multiple roles within the system, making it difficult to set proper access control or identity management processes.
- Since students and parents need access to the school systems from home computers or mobile devices, remote access is a permanent requirement.
- Sometimes, students with mature technical skills try to hack school records, simply to test their skills, or for their own amusement.
Given the challenges that schools face on multiple fronts, it is important to adopt formal processes for managing, storing and securely destroying your physical and digital records. An institutionalized policy, along with training and awareness sessions will ensure that your students, faculty and administrative staff deal with sensitive data and information carefully. This will go a long way in protecting your business from inadvertently breaking state laws or federal regulations.
At TITAN Mobile Shredding, we are a NAID AAA Certified company, with industry-specific solutions that include compliance with legislative matters. We pride ourselves on our top-notch secure disposal standards, cost-effective offerings and customer-centric approach. Explore our wide range of offerings, including routine on-site services, annual on-site purging, hard drive destruction and media destruction. We have several years of experience in serving schools and other educational institutions and helping them in the secure disposal of their physical and digital records.
For meticulous and safe destruction of your student and faculty records, call us at (866) 848-2699 or contact us online. Our data destruction specialists look forward to working with you and creating a customized shredding program in line with your requirements and budget.