Data protection has become an important issue for all organisations and institutions that retain, handle and share personal data. As a result, education providers such as schools, colleges and universities are obligated to take appropriate measures to safeguard the personal data of staff, students, their families, suppliers and other contacts.

From avoiding data loss through accidental deletion to protecting sensitive information against theft and disclosure, there are many reasons why it is vital that education providers protect the data in their care. In this blog, we’ll explore the essential data protection measures and the best solution available for achieving total security.

Children’s data

Under data protection regulations, children have identical rights to others, but additional requirements exist to protect their personal data. Children can provide consent to the processing as an adult can so long as they are competent, or consent must instead be given by a legal guardian or parent. The consent applies to data processing when adding a child’s photograph to a school website or sharing their details with the local press.

Storing data

From records on faculty members to files on students, the personal information retained by educational institutions is vast and classified as both private and sensitive. Regulations insist that educators ensure that this data always remains protected yet accessible by those authorised to view, edit, copy, or delete it when requested.

Whether data is being stored locally on machines, on servers or in cloud storage online, it must always be protected against unauthorised access. This extends to data in email form sitting in various mailboxes on staff accounts.

Transferring and sharing data

An educational environment involves a high volume of personal data movement; rules exist on how this happens. It can be useful to divide data transfers by who the intended recipient is.

Data subjects can request access to personal data belonging to them whenever wish, and an education provider must supply it. This action is typically performed via a DSAR (Data Subject Access Request.

Processors in the UK can include companies providing cloud-based software and applications. Personal data is only allowed to be sent to processors where a contract exists that ensures the recipient will safeguard the personal data. It is vital to remember that many processors store the data overseas. In such instances, education providers must treat transfers as if data is being sent to a processor who is outside of the UK.

Many data processors are located outside of the UK, particularly Cloud service providers. Along with ensuring that a contract guaranteeing that personal data is protected exists, other measures may be required to ensure that data subjects’ rights are being protected.

As a result, education providers must be mindful of the services that they select within their classrooms and departments and pick companies that employ strong data protection practices.

All data must be secured during transfer, whether it is being transmitted externally via email or sharing platforms or internally to servers or cloud storage. Data must be secured for its entire journey, and all access and interactions must be fully traceable as proof of compliance with data protection regulations.

Personal data must never be shared without the consent of the data subject.

Advanced data protection tools for education providers

With an understanding of the sensitivity levels involved with education sector data and the threats faced by schools, colleges, and universities in the UK from cybercriminals, at Galaxkey, we have developed a unique security solution. Our cutting-edge tools are designed to ensure that personal data is protected, whether it is being stored, sent, or shared, with the latest end-to-end encryption.

Rather than creating a safe location on your system, our end-to-end encryption safeguards your data, allowing you to move it to any area, within your network and beyond, safely. Personal data backed up can be encrypted before it is uploaded to the cloud or sent to data subjects or data processors. Providing total protection, data is not only secured in transit but also when it is at rest on mail servers or in user email accounts.

Our data encryption is designed to offer full compliance with data protection regulations and has been approved for use by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Based on the onion model recommended for US Government use, it seals your data in three robust layers of protection, ensuring it can only be viewed, altered, copied or deleted by those with express permission.

Personal data can be easily tracked and monitored and remains secure regardless of its location, making our encryption an ideal option when you need to answer a DSAR from a data subject or send personal data to an external organisation.

To learn more about our solutions, reach out to Galaxkey today, and we can set you up with a free two-week trial of our end-to-end encryption to keep your institution aligned with the latest data protection regulations for education providers.