With Virtual Schools on the Rise, Student Information Security is in Question
Around the country there is a growing population of young people attending E-school or Online School programs. These programs are designed to provide students the ability to learn at their own pace while in many cases still staying connected to a physical school through extracurricular activities such as sports and various groups. While there are a host of advantages to granting these students access to the system, there are experts that are beginning to question the IT security measures that are being implemented to be sure that the student information is safely secured and handled.
“While these students are on the front end of an emerging trend, we do not believe that there are enough precautionary standards in place to insure the safety of their identities.” , proclaimed Ron Beltz, VP of Loricca Inc.. “Social Security numbers, Student names, addresses, and dates of birth are often stored in the student profile, which could be used to acquire the identity of the student.” We would like to note that children are also commonly subject to identity theft. Taking into consideration all of the information stored within a school’s online network, there are experts that are beginning to question the IT security measures that are being implemented to be sure that the sensitive student information is safely secured and handled.
How Secure is Your Online school?
As the market for this educational resource develops, there are online school providers popping up all over the country. The speed at which these schools are coming to market makes achieving true security a real impossibility; much like hitting a moving target that you can’t see very well. Since these online schools are working to get their product in use as soon as possible, it makes the safety and security of the data being stored a commonly overlooked initiative. Many of the companies are placing the security liability of the program on the school systems that are using them, but without real understanding of how the program was developed, it is hard for the IT administrators to really protect the students’ (information) that they serve.
Virtual School meets Big Business:
E-schools around the country are beginning to grow rapidly, and are expected to reach populations over 10 million students by 2014. Though many of these schools are “tuition free” the funding is still provided by municipalities around the country. The other privatized online schools can charge tuition exceeding $16,000 for a four year diploma. Even with the institutions charging tuition, there is no standard security policy that has been presented publicly regarding the safety of data stored through the school’s system.
If you are a member of a school system or an affiliated organization with an E-school system, we want to talk to you about your security. Please feel free to CONTACT US today for more information regarding our service offering for municipalities and school systems.