Contractor notifies Washoe County School District of data security incident
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A contractor used by the Washoe County School District has notified the district that it has experienced a data security incident.
According to a press release from the district, the incident impacts 114,000 students enrolled at WCSD between 2001 and 2016, and a much smaller number of staff members employed during the same period.
The district says the information that was exposed was limited to student names, some birthdates and a small number of staff names and email addresses were also exposed, but a majority of those addresses are no longer in use.
Further identifying information was not revealed and has not been compromised, said the release.
An older version of Pearson Clinical Assessment’s program — AIMSweb — is involved in the incident.
“The type of information involved in this incident was extremely limited,” said Robert Sidford, chief information and innovation officer for WCSD. “However, it represents a deviation from the standards that WCSD expects from our own data systems and those maintained by the contractors we do business with. This incident, although very limited, underscores why the work we do everyday to safeguard student data is so critical. We are working with this contractor to ensure all necessary precautions are in place in the future.”
Pearson is offering access to credit monitoring services for individuals who may be impacted. For a list of questions and answers, letters to families, and resources for credit monitoring, visit http://www.washoeschools.net/dataincident.
“While WCSD would like to individually reach out to every person impacted by this breach, the information is old and not specific enough for the district to identify exactly who has been impacted,” said Alan Cunningham, information security officer for WCSD. “Because the information in question was generated so long ago, many of these students are no longer in our schools. In addition, the type of information is so limited, it is difficult to identify any of the students impacted. However we are issuing this notification out of an abundance of caution so families and individuals are aware of the potential release of this information.”
WCSD will be working with Pearson to ensure that data in their possession has been appropriately secured and is appropriately deleted when it no longer serves any purpose in supporting the education of our students, said the release.
“At Washoe County School District we take very seriously the security of all student, family, and staff data,” Sidford said. “Contracts are closely vetted to ensure the best protections are being taken at all times with all data.”