Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released the results of a cybersecurity audit of the Cape Girardeau Public School District, the third in a series of Cyber Aware School Audits. The initiative analyzes school data protection practices and offers recommendations to increase safeguards against unauthorized access to students' personal information.
"Our team found that, although the school district has put important controls in place, more can be done to ensure sensitive information doesn't fall into the wrong hands," Auditor Galloway said. "We've made recommendations to help the district prepare in the case of a data breach, and I am encouraged by the district's response and commitment to keeping students safe."
Auditors found that the district lacks a comprehensive data governance program, designed to ensure private data remains confidential. They also raised concerns that increased physical security measures are necessary to ensure technology resources, like servers and computers, are protected. Auditors recommended establishing a number of policies to strengthen the district's plans for preventing and responding to possible cyberattacks.
The complete Cyber Aware School Audit for the Cape Girardeau School District is available online.
The Cape Girardeau School District was one of five districts selected for an initial round of Cyber Aware School Audits. Audits have already been released for the Boonville School District in Cooper County and the Waynesville School District in Pulaski County. Audits are in progress in the Park Hill School District in Platte County and the Orchard Farm School District in St. Charles County.
Since taking office, Auditor Galloway has made cybersecurity a priority across all components of government, including Missouri schools. The Cyber Aware School Audits are part of an ongoing emphasis on data protection practices and keeping Missourians' information secure. Last fall, an audit of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education found the department was unnecessarily transmitting and storing student social security numbers in its Missouri Student Information System (MOSIS)- a practice the department has ended. The State Auditor's Office has also incorporated data security into the standard audit process.