Education Cloud Use Case: Data Security

When most people think about protecting their personal information, they usually secure the kind of things that could lead to identity theft—social security and credit card numbers, date of birth, banking information, mother’s maiden name, etc. But what about all the other data that’s now available digitally? Even if it’s not directly related to your identity, anything that you would consider sensitive must be protected from exposure. Payroll information, medical records, family income, or health records are all personal, and all worth protecting. These are the data types that identity thieves and hackers value the most. As these data types are put into the digital domain, the need to secure it becomes that much more important. Educators have a special mandate to extend this protection to their students and peers. This is an area of growing concern, as sensitive information now routinely goes online in educational settings.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is a requirement to protect classified or highly valued data assets. That is to say that school and district IT shops should all be deploying managed data protection solutions while also actively managing their encryption policies. Sound best practices with any security strategy require data to be protected anywhere there are potential vulnerabilities. There are 3 domains of data protection to consider for the application of encryption. Protecting data at rest (on the hard drive of a student’s laptop, on a district-owned server, or safely stored away in the cloud), in motion (moving across the network or through Wi-Fi between devices and locations, and in process (actively being filtered through the CPU which can at times be bogged down by encryption, or even require decryption before and re-encryption after the compute cycle).

Protecting Sensitive Data

Applying effective technologies can guard against these vulnerabilities, and ensure strong encryption—as well as good performance—while the data is being processed. Intel’s AES-NI has a new encryption instruction built into the actual processor. This allows for improved Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithms to accelerate the encryption of the data as well as the processing speed of already-encrypted data. AES-NI is found in Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers and Intel® Core™ processor-based PCs, making the benefits available on a student’s device as well as in the data center. Combining AES-NI with Intel® Secure Key ensures strong keys and powerful random numbers generation for optimal encryption of sensitive data.

When considering a data protection strategy, Intel has created world-class silicon security features to protect sensitive data from end to end—from the student’s device, through to the data center, and all the way into the cloud. Today, data is accessed from a myriad of locations and it’s not enough to lock down your data for only one location. Intel understands the variety of ways kids go online in the educational environment and offers the kind of protection you need to keep everything safe, wherever it is, whenever it is used.