Get the Tech: Ensuring Data Security

Blog Post

In today’s world of cloud-based storage, one question is constantly on people’s minds: is my data safe? When you trust other people with your data, it’s easy to worry about whether they are taking the necessary steps to protect it. When dealing with student information, these concerns become even more important to think about.

The Stepwell team takes these privacy concerns seriously. Here are three things going on behind the scenes to ensure the security of student data 

1. Two-Factor Authentication

Before users even have access to Stepwell, we have to be sure the correct person is logging in. While having a username and password normally does the job, states that desire an extra layer of security can choose to add two-factor authentication. This means that even if a third party were to discover a user’s password, they still would not be able to access student data without a confirmation code.

2. User Permissions

Our user permissions system is another key factor in keeping student records in the right hands. When setting up the Stepwell system, state administrators can determine which level of access different people have on the site. Users are then assigned to specific districts and locations that are applicable to their work. Administrators can clearly see who has access to the data and can double check that people who might have changed districts or retired are properly removed. The visibility of users and permissions within Stepwell ensures that student information is only accessible to the people working to improve outcomes for each district.

3. Encryption using TDE and SSL

While we make sure that the right people have access to appropriate data within the system, we also ensure nobody outside the system can get access. Any information stored in Stepwell’s database(s) is encrypted using Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), while the Stepwell application itself utilizes the latest Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to protect data as it is uploaded or downloaded over the web. These measures protect data at every point while using Stepwell.

With student data properly protected from misuse within the system and from those outside, education officials can use Stepwell to streamline their IDEA compliance with confidence.