The Challenge of Protecting Student Data

One of the many challenges that has been highlighted in great detail by the pandemic is the gaps we have in our education system – from inequitable access to WiFi and laptops to protecting student data when students are working from a variety of different locations outside of the school building. Protecting student data is a top priority for Lumen™ Touch.

At the end of the day, I want to assure you that we adhere strictly to the student privacy pledge and reinforce to you that no one gets access to your data. We think it is very important to understand that we go far and beyond to ensure that the integrity of your system and data remain intact at all times.

Dr. John Vandewalle, CEO

How Lumen Touch Protects Student Data

Since last spring, when schools closed and students moved to online learning, there has been a rapid increase in demand for technology. We saw everything from Zoom bombs to phishing attacks that played on the emotions of people terrified about COVID-19. Ransomware continues to increase in both volume and complexity, but Lumen Touch is committed to staying a step ahead wherever possible. This is why we:

  • Follow industry best practices for the services provided
  • Maintain updates and configurations of all services
  • Isolate risk and standardization when determining the design and configurations of our services
  • Work under the assumption that all networks are potentially hostile (This includes other servers in the local network and clients across the web)
  • Explicitly banned the use of defaulted trust between services
  • Enforce access rules and firewalls among all systems

Lumen Touch Is More than an EdTech Platform; We Are Your Managed IT Partner

In addition to providing comprehensive solutions for delivering education, health, and safety for all of your students, Lumen Touch remains busy in the background, too.

24/7 Monitoring: We monitor your site remotely 24/7/365, providing sophisticated threat detection to block potential threats. We also use a variety of tools to help prevent malware and ransomware threats from breaching your system, including a tool, Fail2Ban, that monitors for malicious login attempts.

Nightly Remote Backups: We perform nightly backups of your data, using AES 256 encryption. In addition to a master Lumen Touch encryption key, each backup also has an individual client key. The backups are stored securely in the US outside of your region – this protects your data in the case of localized weather catastrophes that affect local data centers.

Restoration and Recovery: No matter how much technology we employ, human error accounts for a great number of threats to network security. It only takes one employee clicking on a link or downloading a file that contains a virus or malware for a threat to permeate your IT infrastructure. Our disaster recovery service ensures that if the worst happens, you’ll be up and running again within 1-4 hours, restored from the previous night’s backup and with minimal downtime.

Technology will continue to be an important part of education as we move forward. Because of that, student data security must be a top priority for schools and the edtech providers with whom they partner.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help you protect your student data while empowering students, teachers, and administrators with powerful edtech, get in touch.

Growing Security Threats – EdTech Has a BRIGHT Future

Does the heart of a parent or teacher skip a beat when they hear that another school has been hacked? Their immediate thoughts are probably “I hope this doesn’t happen to my school.” But if it does, what can they do? Do board members and superintendents not lay awake at night wondering if their districts are protected from hacking and ransomware, and what the cost would be if their districts or schools became victims of extortion? Do school administrators concern themselves with their liabilities associated with student privacy, FERPA, HIPPA and much, much more?

The pressure that comes with protecting student management and information systems, maintaining compliance with state and federal laws, and delivering sophisticated integrated technologies to teachers and classrooms – all without breaking the budget – is enormous. It’s a difficult challenge, made more difficult by constant physical and digital security threats, unfunded mandates by state and local governments, and in many cases a shortage of IT support.

Schools Are Being Targeted by Hackers

Most schools are already using a variety of EdTech solutions that enhance educational programs, provide communications to their stakeholders; manage food services and bus routes; support students with special needs; provide data analytics; maintain data for audits; or help to manage buildings, libraries, student clinics, and school cafeterias. But when more than 500 schools have experienced targeted ransomware attacks in 2019 alone, the underlying security of any EdTech solution introduced to a school district must be a top consideration.

The social responsibility for managing technology in the education space is already overwhelming and will become more so with the advent of artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality, and the increased onslaught of cyber-attacks. This all equates to escalating costs to keep the demons out! The threat has become so significant that last year, the FBI issued a warning about the growing threat to schools.

The Daunting Task Before School Administrators

There is no turning back from this digital frontier; so how do you continue to deliver top-quality education and effectively provide student and data security, streamline workflow for overworked teachers and administrators, while also fostering community support with strong security and fiscal responsibility?

So, What Keeps the CEO of Lumen Touch and His Team Awake at Night?

“The last thing I ever want to hear is that one of our school partners have had a tragedy of some kind with one of their students, families, or staff members,” said Dr John Vandewalle, CEO. “The next thing that I loathe to hear is that their technology or data has been compromised in some way!”

How Do We Manage Effective School and Data Security?

We maintain updates and configurations for all of our services, keeping with industry best practices. Isolation of risk and standardization are core principals we use when determining the design and configurations of our services, and rather than react to existing threats, we work under the assumption that all networks are potentially hostile, including other servers in the local network and clients across the web. With this assumption in mind, we have explicitly banned the use of defaulted trust between services. All systems have access rules and firewalls enforced.

We have migrated to a fluid system of interoperability that allows for sharing of data across platforms and vendors while creating technological engines for automated data integration. This allows us to meet the standards of Ed-Fi, IMS Global, CoSN, and other organizations that create these standards. We are also able to distribute data across platforms in a just-in-time manner that provides instant communication and dashboards to all stakeholders, from board members to students and their families, on the technology of their choice.

Support Overworked Teachers and Administrators

Lumen Touch is dedicated to helping schools and districts transform how they deliver education, support teachers, and manage their schools, using EdTech that is not only comprehensive but extremely secure. Our all-in-one solution delivers remedies for everything a school district requires. Watch for our next blog, when we will discuss streamlining workflow and guarding against workplace dissatisfaction and teacher turnover.

Fiscal Responsibility – Save Your District Time and Money

Schools that implement Lumen Touch experience an average savings of 30% to 60%, which is realized from the time of engagement. In addition, Lumen Touch eases the aggravation that may result from negotiating with multiple vendors and removes the need for telecom contracts, carriers, and fees.

If meeting EdTech mandates has overwhelmed your school and district, let Lumen Touch demonstrate how we can free you up to focus on what’s really important: educating students and creating the leaders of the future.  Email us at sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.