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District Notified of Data Security Incident

The North Syracuse Central School District was notified the morning of August 28, 2019, about a data security incident involving the unauthorized access of personally identifiable information for current and former NSCSD students. Student data which is stored on the North Syracuse Central School District’s network was not compromised.
 
The information accessed was through the AIMSweb 1.0 system, which is provided by Pearson Clinical Assessment (Pearson) and stored on their own network. North Syracuse is not the only local school district impacted by the incident, which is believed to have occurred in or around November 2018.
 
As with other local school districts, North Syracuse Central School District utilizes the AIMSweb system through a contract with the Central New York Regional Information Center. Because of secondary relationship, Pearson did not accurately respond to initial independent district inquiries regarding this data security incident and the North Syracuse Central School District was incorrectly advised that it had not been impacted. While Pearson informed the CNYRIC of the data incident on August 26, 2019, the North Syracuse Central School District was only notified of this incident on August 28, 2019, by the CNYRIC.
 
Assessment information, grades and Social Security numbers were not included in the data accessed, according to Pearson. The student data potentially affected was limited to first and last name, date of birth, school building and student identification number. Data for AIMSweb account administrators was also accessed and may include first and last names, job titles, work emails and work addresses. 
 
“We know that this news is concerning to our families and staff, as it is to us. Please know that the North Syracuse Central School District is committed to protecting and securing educational data. In fact, over the past several years, we have taken additional steps to ensure that all educational records maintained within the district have extra layers of security. We are also working closely with the CNYRIC to ensure that proper protections and/or enhancements are made to ensure our students’ information is secure,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel D. Bowles.

District instructional technology staff have extensive training in data security and privacy, and have recently implemented enhanced controls to protect all educational records. The North Syracuse Central School District has also received assurances that Pearson has taken the necessary steps to mitigate the incident and is enhancing protections to guard against similar events.

While it is the district’s understanding that there is no evidence that the information described above has been misused, Pearson is offering complimentary credit monitoring from Experian for one year for affected individuals as a precautionary measure. Please see the following details from Pearson regarding credit monitoring through Experian:

Eperian Credit Monitoring Information

Pearson takes its obligation to safeguard personal information very seriously. While we do not have any evidence that any information has been misused, we are providing you the option to enroll in a complimentary one-year membership in Experian’s® IdentityWorksSM. This product provides you with superior identity detection and resolution of identity theft.

This is a precautionary measure for those affected individuals of a recent data security incident relating to Pearson’s AIMSweb 1.0 platform.

If you are one of those affected individuals or represent an affected minor and choose to redeem this offer, you may activate your membership and start monitoring your or your minor’s personal information by following the steps below:
  • Ensure that you enroll byJanuary 31, 2020 (Your code will not work after this date.)
  • Visit the Experian IdentityWorks website to enroll and provide your activation code:   
You will be covered for up to 12 months.

If you have questions about the product please contact Experian’s customer care team at 866-883-3309 by January 31, 2020.  Be prepared to provide engagement number DB12466 as proof of eligibility for the identity restoration services by Experian.

Additional details regarding your 12-month Experian IdentityWorks Membership:

A credit card is not required for enrollment in Experian IdentityWorks.

While we have no evidence that your data has been misused, you can contact Experian immediately should you suspect any fraud issues. Experian offers the following features once you enroll in Experian IdentityWorks for yourself or your minor: 
  • Identity Restoration: Identity Restoration agents are immediately available to help you address credit and non-credit related fraud.
  • Experian IdentityWorks ExtendCARETM:  You receive the same high-level of Identity Restoration support even after your Experian IdentityWorks membership has expired.
  • Up to $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance**:  Provides coverage for certain costs and unauthorized electronic fund transfers. 

The following additional features are also available:

For adults:
  • Experian credit report at signup: See what information is associated with your credit file.  Daily credit reports are available for online members only.*
  • Credit Monitoring: Actively monitors Experian file for indicators of fraud.

For minors:
  • Social Security Number Trace: Monitoring to determine whether enrolled minors in your household have an Experian credit report.  Alerts of all names, aliases and addresses that become associated with your minor’s Social Security Number (SSN) on the Experian credit report.
  • Internet Surveillance: Technology searches the web, chat rooms & bulletin boards 24/7 to identify trading or selling of your personal information on the Dark Web.

If you believe there was fraudulent use of your or your minor’s information and would like to discuss how you may be able to resolve those issues, please reach out to an Experian agent at 866-883-3309.  If, after discussing your situation with an agent, it is determined that Identity Restoration support is needed, then an Experian Identity Restoration  agent is available to work with you to investigate and resolve each incident of fraud that occurred (including, as appropriate, helping you with contacting credit grantors to dispute charges and close accounts, assisting you in placing a freeze on your credit file with the three major credit bureaus, and assisting you with contacting government agencies to help restore your identity to its proper condition).

Please note that this Identity Restoration support is available to you for one year from the date of this letter and does not require any action on your part at this time.  The Terms and Conditions for this offer are located at www.ExperianIDWorks.com/restoration.  You will also find self-help tips and information about identity protection at this site.