Notice of Vendor Security Breach

Notice of Vendor Security Breach
Posted on 08/09/2019

On August 7, 2019, the Waterford Public Schools received notice from Pearson Clinical Assessment of a security breach. The nationwide security breach specifically impacted 3,196 Waterford Public Schools students' "directory information"; first name, last name and date of birth. The security breach did not involve Social Security numbers or assessment information.  Waterford Public Schools is complying with Connecticut State Statute Sec. 10-234dd. Duties re: unauthorized release, disclosure or acquisition of student data by notifying our students and families of this security breach.   


Vendor Security Breach FAQs

On August 9, 2019 the Waterford Public School district informed families of a nationwide security breach that occurred with a vendor, Pearson Clinical Assessments, whose programs are used in the district.  The security breach involved the vendor’s AIMSweb platform that is used in the district as an academic assessment program.  This program was the only Pearson system that was affected by this incident.

Since reporting this nationwide security breach to our families, we have received questions concerning this incident.  In our continued commitment to communicate with our families and students, we have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions to assist in answering some of these questions.  Contact WPS Systems Administrator Mark Geer at mgeer@waterfordschools.org for specific questions you may have.

 

Can you clarify exactly what information was accessed?

Pearson has assured us that only directory information including first and last name, and in some instances, date of birth and school-issued email address have been accessed.  No information beyond that has been accessed.  This breach is nationwide and is not isolated to Waterford Public Schools.

 

Are we certain that Social Security Numbers and other student information was not accessed?

Our district has never provided Social Security Numbers to Pearson.  Pearson has confirmed that the only information accessed was first and last name, and in some instances, date of birth and school-issued email address.

 

Is the town/ vendor going to provide any credit monitoring for our children? 

The vendor is providing free credit monitoring for a year at no cost to families.  Directions to access this service are:

  • If you are enrolling for a minor: https://www.experianidworks.com/minorplus
    • Provide your activation code:4GCYX5C69
  • If you are redeeming this for a minor, provide your minor’s information when prompted

What is their corrective action plan to rectify this problem?

From Pearson: “We immediately launched a review, which included outside cybersecurity experts, to determine the nature and extent of any data potentially affected.  As a result of the incident, we are undergoing a review to determine additional steps we can take to further enhance the safety and security of your students’ and account administrator’s personal information and our systems, to help prevent recurrences of incidents such as this one.”

 

Will we get updates?

We will update you if we get any additional information from Pearson.

 

Was my child’s information included in the breach?

Students who attended Waterford Public Schools in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school year were affected.  Families of Waterford students who were affected were notified via email from our district on August 9, 2019. 

 

What organization executed the breach and now has our children's information?

Pearson stated it was an unauthorized third party and they are working with law enforcement.

 

What is Waterford doing to prevent this from happening in the future?

In accordance with CT State law, the Waterford Public Schools executes data security contracts with each software provider to protect student data.  When a breach happens on the vendor’s end they are required to notify us.

 

Where can read more about this?

https://www.ctschoollaw.com/2019/08/pearson-student-data-breach-more-than-13000-schools-impacted/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/pearson-hack-exposed-details-on-thousands-of-u-s-students-11564619001

What are the next steps we should take as parents?

  • We will keep you updated as Pearson keeps us updated.
  • You can sign up for free credit monitoring for a year.
  • Contact WPS Systems Administrator Mark Geer at mgeer@waterfordschools.org for specific questions you may have.


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 West Corporation. All rights reserved.