Request A demo

FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is a federal law in the United States designed to protect the privacy of student education records. FERPA Compliance is essential for educational institutions that receive federal funding.

Overall, compliance with FERPA requires educational institutions to establish comprehensive policies, procedures, and practices for handling student records while prioritizing the privacy and security of student information. Regular assessments, audits, and training initiatives are essential components of maintaining compliance. Ensuring FERPA compliance in PeopleSoft Campus Solutions is crucial for educational institutions to protect the privacy of student education records.

Penalties for Non-compliance With FERPA

The penalties for non-compliance with FERPA can result in varying consequences based on the severity and circumstances of the violation. Penalties can include:

  • Loss of Funding: Institutions that fail to comply with FERPA may risk losing federal funding, including grants and other financial assistance programs.
  • Legal Action: Individuals whose privacy rights have been violated under FERPA may pursue legal action against the institution or individuals responsible for the violation. This can result in financial penalties, damages, and legal fees.
  • Corrective Action: In cases of non-compliance, the U.S. Department of Education may require the institution to take corrective actions to address the violation and prevent future occurrences. This may include implementing new policies, training staff, or undergoing compliance audits.
  • Administrative Sanctions: The Department of Education may impose administrative sanctions on institutions found to be in violation of FERPA, including fines or other punitive measures.

FERPA Compliance Checklist: Key Investments

Native PeopleSoft security controls are not enough to enable FERPA compliance. Here are some key investments institutions should consider to help maintain FERPA compliance in PeopleSoft Campus Solutions:

1. Least Privilege Access Controls

Implement strict access controls that align with the principle of least privilege, which limits access to student records only to authorized personnel who require access to do their jobs. Role-based security alone can create “all or nothing” access conflicts, but adding least privilege to role-based controls can provide the fine-grained level of control that is required to limit unnecessary data exposure.

2. IAM Tools for User Authentication

Implement robust user authentication mechanisms, such as SAML-based single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA), to verify the identity of users accessing PeopleSoft Campus Solutions. This helps prevent unauthorized access to student records, especially if login credentials or a managed device are compromised.

3. Data Masking

Implement a data masking tool that can conceal or anonymize certain sensitive information within PeopleSoft, particularly in non-production environments used for development, testing, or training purposes. This helps prevent exposure of sensitive student data to unauthorized users – especially third-party consultants who are granted temporary, privileged access.

4. Compliant Provisioning

Automate the provisioning of IT resources and access privileges in a manner that complies with relevant regulations, industry standards, and organizational policies. An automated solution should run checks for separation of duties throughout the entire user lifecycle (i.e., Joiner/Mover/Leaver).

5. Audit Trails

Enable comprehensive audit logging within PeopleSoft to track and monitor access to student records, including who accessed the data, when it was accessed, and any changes made to the records. Regularly review audit logs to detect and investigate any suspicious or unauthorized activities.

By implementing these measures and incorporating FERPA compliance into the overall governance and security framework of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, educational institutions can effectively protect student privacy and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. Regular assessments and audits should also be conducted to identify and address any potential vulnerabilities or compliance gaps.

Pathlock Accelerates FERPA Compliance in PeopleSoft Campus Solutions

Dozens of colleges and universities all over the world use Pathlock to implement security controls and detailed visibility (i.e., user activity logging and analytics) to help their PeopleSoft systems evolve alongside FERPA compliance requirements.

Whether you are looking to strengthen role-based controls (compliant provisioning), data security controls (least privilege and data masking), or user authentication (SAML SSO and MFA integration) – Pathlock has you covered! Schedule a demo today and see for yourself!

Table of contents