State Auditor Nicole Galloway recently visited Lamar R-1 and Harrisonville R-IX school districts to commend officials on their efforts to be a Cyber Aware School. Both school districts have policies in place that require notification if a data breach occurs.
"These schools have voluntarily taken a proactive approach to cyber awareness by incorporating this critical step into their cyber security policies, and I commend them for those efforts," Auditor Galloway said. "Currently, the law does not require schools to notify parents if personal information has been stolen in a data breach. I'm working with the legislature to require notification."
Missouri law does not require notification if a student's personal information is compromised in a cybersecurity incident. A bill to safeguard students' sensitive information was among the first to be filed for the 2018 legislative session. State Sen. Gina Walsh of Bellefontaine Neighbors sponsored the legislation, which would require schools to notify a student's parents or guardians in the event of a data breach. The bill has been approved the Senate Education Committee and is awaiting debate in the Senate.
These visits are part of a statewide initiative by Auditor Galloway to encourage schools to adopt a policy that will increase safeguards for students whose information is compromised during a data breach. To date, she has recognized 12 school districts in Missouri for having parental notification policies.
Since taking office, Auditor Galloway has focused on efforts to keep Missourians' information secure by incorporating data security into the standard audit process and regularly making recommendations to counties, municipalities and courts on ways to better safeguard electronic records. She is also reviewing ways to better protect electronic data within state government.