Missouri auditor launches investigation into school cyber-security

Nicole Galloway

Nicole Galloway

By State Capitol Bureau Staff

JEFFERSON CITY — State Auditor Nicole Galloway last week announced a series of audits to determine how well public schools protect digital information.

“A school and school district has a responsibility to protect that information,” Galloway said. “If they’re going to require Social Security numbers, health information, if they’re going to require personal information about you or your students, then they have a responsibility to collectively protect it.”

Beyond examining what protections school districts have to avoid hacking, she said the audits also will examine what policies are in place when protections fail.

“We’re looking to see a school district detect a data breech,” Galloway said. “And once it’s detected, do they have procedures and plans in place to address it?”

Galloway said more than 250 schools across the country had experienced data breaches in the past decade including at least three in Missouri in the past year.

Her audit will start with five school districts:

• Boonville School District in Cooper County.

• Cape Girardeau School District in Cape Girardeau County.

• Orchard Farm School District in St. Charles County.

• Park Hill School District in Platt County.

• Waynesville School District in Pulaski County.