30th November 2021 All Posts Insights Expert Advice

Ensuring Data Security in the Early Years Sector

We recently spoke to Education Forum, sharing insight into some actions early years childcare providers and their IT teams can take to help keep security incidents or data breaches from happening…

Make the area secure
Wherever hardware – laptops, tablets, or PCs – is stored, make sure it’s in a physically secure room, using locks and strong doors, and managing who has access to it.

Install antivirus software and firewalls
Despite not being 100% foolproof, these programs can help to prevent the most common malware and viruses from entering the system, as well as controlling network access.

Track all assets
All company devices that have personal data stored on them need to be audited on a regular basis, so that if any are missing, remediation actions can be completed as quickly as possible.

Devise a clear policy
Employ a data policy on usage of removeable media – such as USBs – alongside guidelines on what data can be stored on a laptop or PC. This helps to prevent devices containing sensitive information being removed from the setting.

Implement patching and encryption policies
Patches contain fixes for security vulnerabilities that may be used by cybercriminals, so it’s vital to set a time that all software and systems are updated. Encrypt devices too – then if one is lost, it can’t be accessed without the encryption key.

Educate all staff
Human error is the biggest weakness in security systems, so ensuring everyone is trained in key security and data protection protocol is vital.

Be prepared
Security incident and data breach management are key requirements in data protection legislation, and they can also help to pinpoint any system weaknesses.Remember account and password management policies
Accounts with access to child data should be assigned to a single user only, and make sure this is reviewed frequently, to make sure people who have left the business no longer have access.

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