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How Heaton St Barnabus Primary School Shares Confidential Data Securely

Synopsis

Heaton St Barnabas is a busy, thriving primary school with around 420 pupils aged between 4-11. As in all schools, staff at Heaton St Barnabas regularly need to send, receive, and store confidential data. This ranges from financial and management information to sensitive personal information relating to adults and children alike, including sharing safeguarding information with external agencies.

THE CHALLENGE
THE SOLUTION
THE RESULT
THE CHALLENGE

Keeping confidential data safe when sending to external organisations

Heaton St Barnabas is a busy, thriving primary school with around 420 pupils aged between 4-11. As in all schools, staff at Heaton St Barnabas regularly need to send, receive, and store confidential data. This ranges from financial and management information to sensitive personal information relating to adults and children alike, including sharing safeguarding information with external agencies.

But sharing confidential data was hard to do both securely and efficiently. Wasiq Suleman has worked with several schools on finance, operations and human resources management. He explains:

“In the past we would do it the old, archaic way of sending a normal email with a password-protected file, and then ringing through the password separately. Not ideal, but unfortunately it
was needs must.”

With GDPR due to come into effect, Wasiq realised schools needed a more secure, less cumbersome way to send and store sensitive data.

The school was already using a free version of Galaxkey’s secure email software to exchange encrypted messages and attachments with Bradford Council. While the free version was useful, Wasiq and his colleagues needed more.

They needed to be able to send secure emails and files at any time, to anyone, with complete certainty that the data inside would be kept safe.

“We had an increasing number of staff in different settings wanting to be able to send and receive encrypted messages freely, without limitations. Particularly safeguarding officers and leadership teams – we can have a safeguarding incident at any time, and information needs to be sent within a couple of hours. And to know that it’s been sent securely is vital.”

THE SOLUTION

Emails and files protected with Galaxkey’s end-to-end encryption

Already familiar with Galaxkey through communicating with Bradford Council and the Department of Education, it was an easy choice for Wasiq when the school was ready to upgrade its data security.

“A lot more of our suppliers and other third parties we work with were using Galaxkey to protect their data. So for us to work more smoothly, it made sense to move to a fully licenced version of Galaxkey.”

Heaton St Barnabas’ school now has ten full Galaxkey licences. These enable staff to send and receive an unlimited number of emails and files of all sizes, with full end-to-end encryption. Emails and attachments they send stay secure even if the recipient doesn’t have a paid Galaxkey licence.

After a single log-in, staff members can use Galaxkey throughout the day to send, receive and save confidential data. Files are stored in a secure online vault, and staff can access and save these files from any device.

THE RESULT

Peace of mind from strong data security and efficiency

Today, Wasiq and colleagues at his schools enjoy peace of mind from knowing all information sent and stored with Galaxkey is securely protected at every stage.

“It was a relief to get Galaxkey. Everyone loves it. Now we have full confidence when we send information that it’s kept safe – from financial and management information to personal details such dates of birth, addresses, medical needs, and safeguarding data. It’s worth a lot of money to be able to protect that kind of data.”

And because Galaxkey automatically tracks each time an email or file is accessed and by whom, this helps staff to work more efficiently.

“You can send something using Galaxkey and know that it’s arrived and it’s encrypted. It’s efficient – it just works. There’s no need to double-check, to phone and say, Did you get that? Have you opened it? You can actually see that documents are being received and read.”

When Wasiq revised data protection policies to reflect GDPR, having Galaxkey helped to demonstrate the school’s compliance.

“It was a big plus to be able to say in our policies that we use a system like Galaxkey to ensure end-to-end encryption.”

The unexpected need for increased remote working throughout 2020 due to COVID-19 was also made easier because of Galaxkey. Although schools stayed open for some children throughout the lockdowns, many staff had to work from home.

But because the school already had Galaxkey in place, they didn’t have to scramble to find secure ways to communicate and store files remotely. Instead, staff could focus on the challenges of switching to remote working and online learning, knowing that data was being kept safe by Galaxkey.

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