Cape Girardeau School District to be audited to prevent data breach

Cape Girardeau School District to be audited to prevent data breach
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The average cost to fix a school data breach is roughly $6 million and it has happened to a Missouri school before.

In 2014, 10,000 students and staff were impacted by a data breach.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway outlined her plans for Cape Girardeau's upcoming audit to make sure something like that never happens again.

Galloway said she and her team will take what they uncover in the Cape School District and work with the School Board Association and other teacher groups to see if there are any patters or gaps in the system.

They'll work to educate all parties inside a school district including students, staff and parents.

She said often times they fixes are very easy, some as simple as changing a password.

"An employee might have access to social security numbers, banking information that they don't need for their job responsibilities and that is inappropriate," Galloway said. "We also find that people share passwords when they shouldn't or that sensitive systems don't require passwords at all and these are concerns."

Galloway will visit Cape schools this week.

It's unclear when the audit will be made available to the public.

When the findings are collected, Galloway said her office will hold the districts accountable to make changes.

Galloway didn't say if this would lead to budgetary increase for schools.

"Only requiring certain people to have access to certain databases, again, that is cost effective," she said. "Maintaining people's personal written forms with their social security numbers on it in a locked filing cabinet that only certain people have access to and the destroying those records after a certain period of time, again, cost effective."

It is unclear how many schools will be audited by her office in the future.

But she hopes to keep the project as an ongoing process.

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