Students may be able to get away with the “my dog ate my homework” excuse but as school staff, you can’t. And the data you’re storing is much more important than multiplication tables. From physical addresses to private academic records, all student data must be securely stored and protected.
You might have the best computers and software programs available, but unfortunately, data disasters can still happen. But with the right preparation, it doesn’t have to be a total loss—here are 5 ways to prepare against them.
1. Regular Data Backup
The most important step in data protection is to back up your information regularly. Many programs have a built-in option to do this automatically, but if not, it’s up to you to ensure that your files are safely backed up on an external hard drive or cloud service at least once per day (preferably more).
Manual data backup is time-consuming and tedious, so it’s better to invest in a program that does it automatically or outsource your backups to a third-party provider.
2. Secure Networking
Having an unsecured internet connection is like leaving your doors unlocked—it makes it incredibly easy for hackers to get in and steal your data. Make sure all of your staff are using secure networks with two-factor authentication and encryption, so malicious actors don’t have a chance to create a data disaster.
With remote schooling, students have the option to access school resources from home or on the road. However, not all networks are secure, so provide instructions on how to connect their devices safely and remind them never to use public Wi-Fi.
3. Train Your Staff
We know—your teachers already go through so much tedious training. But they are your most important resource for data protection, and they must know how to handle confidential student information.
Designate one person (or several) in your school as the data custodian and run regular training sessions on best practices. This will ensure that everyone knows their roles in protecting student data- minimizing the chances of a breach.
4. An Airtight Disaster Recovery Plan
A data disaster can take multiple forms, from flooding to cyberattacks. That’s why it’s important to have an airtight disaster recovery plan in place.
This should include established protocols for how to respond, who should be contacted immediately, and what steps need to be taken to restore any lost or corrupted files.
Outside help is the best way to build a disaster recovery plan that works for your institution. They’ll offer an expert perspective on your current security and how you can avoid costly downtime. They take the stress out of disaster recovery.
5. How Does a Disaster Recovery Plan Kick In When the Worst Happens?
So, say a power outage or cyberattack does happen. Now what? Your plan will tell you exactly what to do and who to contact. Depending on the type of disaster, you may need to switch over to an alternate server or use a backup copy of your files.
A good plan will also include recovery time estimates so you can be sure everything is restored as quickly as possible. And once it’s all over? Take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In the end, data disasters can be stressful and costly, but with the right preparation, you can come out ahead. Taking preventative measures now is key—after all, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
So get your school ready for any potential disaster and protect your students’ confidential data.
Be Prepared for Anything with ANC Group
After helping institutions like yours for over 20 years, ANC Group can provide you with the best disaster recovery plan tailored to your school’s needs. Our team of experts will assess your current security structure and build a solution that can help you avoid data disaster.
To learn more about how we can help your school, schedule a consultation with one of our team members. They’ll be happy to answer any questions and get your school on the path to safer data.