New York State School District Audits Released in June
New York State Comptroller DiNapoli released more school district audits in June. As always, some of the audits do not reveal all the concerns or recommendations. Some concerns or recommendations are shared with districts confidentially for security reasons.
Here are summaries of audits of school districts released in June that relate to school district IT:
District officials did not establish adequate policies and procedures for network user accounts to prevent unauthorized use or access. Officials did not develop a comprehensive acceptable use policy, monitor employee computer use, or disable 64 unneeded user accounts, which included generic and former student and employee accounts. Read the complete report here.
District officials did not adequately manage and monitor network user accounts. In addition to sensitive information technology (IT) control weaknesses auditors communicated confidentially to officials, district officials should have disabled 133 of 821 network user accounts. These accounts consisted of 56 individual and 77 generic unneeded network user accounts, one of which was last logged on in January 2012. District officials should have ensured all users using IT resources received periodic IT awareness training. Read the complete report here.
District officials did not adequately manage network user accounts, periodically compare installed software to an authorized software inventory or develop an IT contingency plan. Nine of the district’s network user accounts (8%) were not needed. This created additional network entry points that, if accessed by attackers, could be used to inappropriately access, and view sensitive information and compromise IT resources. District staff did not have sufficient documented guidance or plans to follow to recover data and resume essential operations in a timely manner. Read the complete report here.
District officials did not adequately manage non-student network user accounts to ensure unnecessary accounts were disabled. Specifically, district officials did not establish comprehensive written procedures to periodically review all network user accounts, identify unnecessary network user accounts, and notify the IT vendor to disable them. Nine former employees’ user accounts and 120 unneeded generic user accounts were not disabled on the network. Read the complete report here.
District officials did not adequately manage the district’s network user accounts to help prevent unauthorized use, access and/or loss. Auditors found district officials should have disabled 67 unneeded network user accounts. These unnecessary accounts had last log-on dates ranging from Jan. 3, 2012, to Sept. 3, 2021, and account for 15% of the district’s network user accounts. Read the complete report here.
And in this post, DataBreaches is also including one audit concerning online banking by a school district:
The board and district officials did not ensure that online banking transactions were appropriate and secure. District officials improperly allowed a third-party administrator to access a district bank account. The board’s online banking policy dated April 24, 2013, had not been updated or reviewed. It did not reflect current online banking practices and it assigns oversight responsibilities to an internal auditor. However, the district does not have an internal auditor and these responsibilities were not assigned to another employee. Read the complete report here.