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After Florida Virtual School Data Breach, Leon County Schools Evaluating Its Own Cyber-Security

Ryan Dailey

A data breach of Florida Virtual School put tens of thousands of Leon County school teachers and students’ personal information at risk.

Though the Florida Virtual School is a third-party vendor at fault for leaving a server unsecured and vulnerable to hackers, the district is now evaluating its own data security. Gillian Gregory, an assistant superintendent for the district, told the crowd at Tuesday’s school board meeting what measures LCS is taking.

“We’ve also shifted our focus internally,” Gregory said. “And so, the superintendent has directed TIS and academic services to review all of our data exchange protocols, to strengthen all of our data exchange protocols and to ensure as we move forward we minimize our risk as much as possible.”

Gregory says two groups had their data put at risk: The first was about 1,700 teachers whose social security numbers were compromised. They were identified as teachers who had a homeroom class. Gregory says before 2014, student schedules were tied to teachers using social security numbers the LCS management information system. Now, the district uses PIDs, or personal identification numbers.

The second group was estimated at about 50,000 students and teachers who had information like medical records and Individual Education Plans compromised. The district has been working with mass-mailing and calling companies to notify those affected. Superintendent Hanna adds LCS is providing free identity theft protection to those who has Social Security Numbers compromised.