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Digital sovereignty by defenition, is the concept of the protection and control of data, whether personal or not, by public or private organizations. In a sector as sensitive as education, it is the responsibility of schools, middle and high schools, colleges and universities, to ensure security and data protection of students, teachers and administrative staff
The risk of a cyber-attack being never far away, this data is therefore likely to be manipulated, spied on, hacked or used without the consent of its owners, by foreign agents or companies.
In order to avoid such a situation which represents both a danger for users and administrations (not to mention the regulatory aspect), sovereign, French and open source software for the most part exist.
In this article, we will talk about the challenges of using non-sovereign software for your educational establishment, but also about the advantages offered by sovereign solutions, such as XiVO.
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It is no longer a secret these days that non-sovereign software exposes its users to security risks and data leaks. In the absence of control over the storage, management, collection, use and sharing of their data, you expose the personal data of your users (students, teachers and administration) to the danger of exploitation by organizations external to your school or university.
For example, the medical data of students, the banking data of teachers and administrative staff, or even data relating to minors, can be (in the event of hosting your data on a non-sovereign cloud) given to a foreign entity having power over the provider of this service.
Moreover, opting for non-sovereign software generates a reliance on vendors of these programs for maintenance, technical support, and updates which can incur high costs.
This dependence can also take the form of a limitation in the customization of the software's functionalities to meet specific needs.thus limiting the smoothness and flexibility of the IT tool.
Suppose a school collects students' medical data, such as allergies or chronic illnesses, to ensure their safety and well-being. If this data is collected through non-sovereign unified communications software, it may be vulnerable to cyber attacks or unauthorized access, thereby jeopardizing student privacy and the legal liability of the school.
However, if the school uses sovereign software to store this medical data, it can maintain ownership and control of this data. The software can be designed to comply with medical data privacy and security standards, such as European data protection regulations. This can ensure that student medical information is stored and managed securely and confidentially, while strengthening the digital sovereignty of the school. In addition, if the software is open source, it allows the school's technical teams to verify, have it verified by a service provider, and audit the source code to ensure that security and confidentiality standards are respected.
To learn more about the benefits of open source solutions for educational institutions, read our article “ Why choose open source for your educational institution? »
Finally, the most imminent risk of using non-sovereign software, is that of not complying with the laws and regulations in force, mainly due to non-compliance with regulations on the use and protection of data. personal, including GDPR. Such a violation leads to penalties and high legal costs.
In short, although the software and tools of teamwork non-sovereign like Microsoft, Google, Zoom... offer a wide choice of features, this does not exclude the danger linked to their use regarding data.
Moreover, the CNIL has strongly advised against the use of US collaborative suites for higher education and research establishments for these same reasons. The CNIL therefore encourages the digital transition towards sovereign solutions and brings “all the necessary help to these organizations to enable them to identify possible alternatives”.
Being a French solution, XiVO responds to RGPD compliance issues. As a result, this solution guarantees the security of the data of your students, teachers, and administrative staff, because it has been published in compliance with the laws and regulations governing the collection, processing and storage of personal data, which gives your educational institution control over the sensitive data of your users, especially students.
Open source and sovereign, XiVO is a unified communications and a collaborative work tool, allowing videoconferences for distance courses, sharing comments in the chat. It is also On-premise, and can be hosted in your data center if you want to prioritize the security and protection of your users' sensitive data. XiVO offers your establishment the guarantee of data storage in a French server, and thus gives you control over this data..
In conclusion, when you opt for sovereign solutions for your educational establishment, you choose to protect your users' data against any external threat, and against any law that may give foreign authorities access to this data. The “Cloud Act” for example, allows the US government to access data stored by US companies such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft Azur, even if this data is stored on servers located abroad, and even if the users of these services are not located in the United States. It is therefore essential to favor sovereign software for your educational establishment in order to ensure the protection and control of the data of your students, teachers and administrative staff.
Find the intervention on Ecoreseau of Cédric Lamblin, Project Manager at Wisper, in this article ÉcoRéseau Business – Souveraineté en entreprise : la prise de conscience est-elle réelle ? (ecoreseau.fr)
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