With a surplus of student Social Security numbers, financial records and other personally identifiable information close at hand, schools and universities also have to adhere to numerous education-specific compliance regulations, in addition to Sarbanes Oxley, PCI and a host of federal and state data breach laws. All too often, critical information such as income and Social Security numbers on financial aid applications, health and medical data related to student athletes, and mental health records from student counseling department are disorganized, misplaced, improperly secured or easily allow unauthorized access. Unfortunately, most educational institutions aren’t even aware that this data exists – making it impossible to manage. Eventually, they pay the price when that data is discovered too late by auditors or falls into the wrong hands.
With data classification, enterprises are able to increase transparency to regulatory agencies by shining a light on what they’re doing to secure sensitive data. This includes showing the number of sensitive records identified, how they’re prioritized, where the regulated data lives and how it’s being protected, while also providing the ability to generate customized reports at the drop of a hat. Data classification technology also enables the university to demonstrate a security approach aimed at reducing exposure to risk – which also goes a long way with evaluators and assessors when audit time rolls around.