How BPM Can Address Data Privacy Concerns in Higher Ed


When it comes to data privacy, colleges and universities are fighting an uphill battle on a daily basis. It’s been evolving for the past several years, as cybersecurity and individual privacy have become interwoven as key issues facing students. According to a 2016 internet security threat report, the education sector as a whole is the number two ranked sector for cybersecurity breaches.

The two components that encompass this privacy discussion are autonomy privacy and information privacy. The former involves individuals having the right to operate online without fear of the government watching over them. The latter invokes the rights of individuals to harness some level of control over the way their personal information is utilized. Both privacy types are equally important, therefore it’s why institutions are concerned that these security levels are being properly met.

The solution may lie in the way institutions conduct their business in general. Using BPM, these academic venues can identify areas of potential improvement so that they can run more efficient processes. This will ultimately make students and administrators feel freer to conduct their business online, and most importantly, it will make their experience safer throughout.


Enable data-driven decisions

It’s no secret that universities house a ton of data. The problem is, how do they make proper usage of this vast library of information in a way that positively promotes the institution and also keeps students safe?

One way is through the enactment of workflow software, which processes and stores data automatically. Today’s workflow software is also heavily safeguarded, helping to protect personal data from hackers and other outside sources.

Workflow software provides staff and administrators fast and efficient access to all the information they need from a single, convenient location. This helps expedite processes like generating reports, student admissions, tuition payments, and payroll, using the information collected via process software.


Transitioning to the cloud

Unquestionably, many institutions remain unprepared to tackle IT risks. Unfortunately, many of these are college institutions. To make matters worse, IT departments tend to operate in separate spaces from one university to the next meaning there’s no uniform set of policies to follow.

An increasing number of universities are beginning to transition to cloud computing as a way to secure the high quantities of student data, including admissions information and education records. Adding the cloud component to their business process management flow helps universities manage analytics, deployment services, and storage while protecting against theft and other compromising circumstances.

Tools like Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide a useful resource for business process management to occur, especially thanks to the software’s extensive usage of analytics and big data. Business and collegiate institutions alike can rely on this information to make better data-driven decisions that improve safety and security.


BPM in network security

Keeping the information flowing safely across internal networks is a consistent challenge, but it’s an absolute necessity for colleges and universities. Developing policies and institutional standards that establish an obvious authoritative structure of accountability in the network is vital, but also having the ability to identify the threats coming in.

For organizations of all sizes, especially higher education, cybercrime is a major concern. Today, with increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks — and the prevalence of wiper malware — universities are at higher risk than they have ever been before. From student data to donor data and even government data, the implications are at an all-time high. It seems that every day there are headlines of another unexpected, but massive, data breach. What would be the repercussions for higher ed if an institution was in the news for a cyber attack? 

So then, where can BPM come into play? By effectively managing the processes that provide data protection. Multiple security best practices can be automated leaving the experts with more time to focus on more complicated cybersecurity activities. In addition, BPM can help higher ed to integrate both authorization processes and data security into their daily user operations. 

To conclude

To further enhance the outcome, data security should be viewed as a business concept with a development process. It isn’t just about fixing bugs in the aftermath. With government red tape and a multitude of regulations, all prominent in the digital age — invariably, more data will need to be processed. 

Certainly, higher ed data should be managed with extreme care. Between creation to transmission to the storage, any of these activities can increase the attack surface for aspiring cyber criminals. As a result, when dealing with BPM, data validation processes should become a mindset and the new normal. Therefore, BPM becomes critical for assuring data privacy in higher ed.

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