Penetration Testing & Cyber Security Testing

Data Protection Compliance and Cyber Attacks in Schools

Data Protection Compliance And Cyber Security Attacks In Schools are on the rise. Article 32 of the GDPR sets out the technical measures that organisations should implement to protect personal data. Therefore this means regularly testing your networks and systems to ensure you correctly store and protect personal data.

  •  Source Qualified Experts with Government Level Clearance
  • We Have Created A Free Self-Assessment Questionnaire For Schools 
  • Consider Your Ability To Provide Comprehensive Reporting & Feedback
  • Most Importantly Consider Implementing Post Test Care & Effective Risk Remediation


Firstly how best to maintain data protection compliance in schools has been a recurring question within our network. Many education providers are now turning to the information commissioner’s office for formal guidance. This in conjunction with sourcing pen testing companies to help secure their networks.    

  • We recommend that you annually test your networks (Ethical Hacking) in conjunction with annual data protection audits and privacy impact assessments wherever necessary.

 The fact remains, two schools having recently been issued with legal warnings from the ICO. Thus highlighting the incorrect disclosure of personal data. This is a significant action given the fact the pandemic has disrupted many schools and education providers. Thus giving a clear stance on where the ICO stands on the responsibility schools have to protect and report their significant data breaches.  

The risk that these incidents pose to safeguarding concerns is a very distressing reality for the staff involved. It’s worth mentioning that most breaches occur by accident. But non the less the severity of a breach must be individually assessed and a decision taken to appropriately remediate against the breach. Therefore, the following blog will outline the key area that pose a risk to your school and its network.

Data Protection Compliance And Cyber Security Attacks In Schools:

Below we have listed several examples of data breaches in schools:

  • Any unauthorised person accessing the data: When a pupil, unauthorised staff member or criminal hacker views, steals or possesses sensitive information without consent. We recommend internal, external and we application Penetration testing is conducted at the school annually.

  • Lack of due diligence by the school or one of the processors: An example would be sending old school records, exam results, pupil health records to be destroyed. Without assessing the risk in advance and first removing the data.

  • Accidental or otherwise sending personal data to the wrong person or persons: It’s most likely to occur when sending out bulk emails or correspondence to staff members. Usually when they are all CC’d into an email chain. This is a high-risk area where many breaches occur.

  • Editing or changing personal data without the subject’s permission: Accessing the school’s payroll, medical systems, report cards, exam result systems. Usually resulting in changing staff pay grades through pay roll. These are all significant breaches and must be reported after the level of risk is assessed.

  • Unplanned events and cyber-attacks: This might happen when networks or systems are forced offline. Either due to a technical error in house or in a cyber-attack from hackers. Who are trying to expose the network and the data it holds.

Data Protection Compliance And Cyber Security Attacks In Schools:

There are many schools that currently don’t have the resourced to adequately prevent future breaches.  Our ethical hacking services implement strategies to demonstrably mitigate and monitoring any breaches.  We have CREST accredited penetration testers to assist with identifying risks. The aim is to fix them before the school gets compromised. This in conjunction with our outsourced data protection officer as a service. Leads to a robust method of delivering compliance and maintaining GDPR. The new DPA 18 implementation must also be considered. We look to cause minimal disruption to the academic term with schools starting up again.  

As a start-up company we really value our customers and their needs. So being agile and able to pivot to accommodate our customers wherever possible is paramount. As a response we now offer CREST registered penetration testing from qualified experts. Who help you stay ahead of the hackers and protect your schools critical data.

Below are examples of the types of testing we conduct:

Internal – An internal network pen test is performed to help gauge what an attacker could achieve with initial access to a network. An internal network pen test can mirror insider threats, such as employees intentionally or unintentionally performing malicious actions.

External – External penetration testing is a security assessment of an organisation’s perimeter systems. External penetration testing usually tests from the perspective of an attacker with no prior access to your systems or networks.

Web Application – A penetration test, also known as a pen test, is a simulated cyber-attack against your computer system to check for exploitable vulnerabilities. In the context of web application security, penetration testing is commonly used to augment a web application firewall (WAF).


For more information on Grey, White & Black hat testing contact us for a free scoping call and self-assessment questionnaire.

Data Protection In Schools :