Security breach prompts lockdown of some Manitoba student databases

CARMAN, MAN. — Electronic databases that contain personal information about some Manitoba students have been temporarily shut down following a security breach.

The Maplewood system is run by an Ontario company and is used by 14 school divisions in Manitoba.

There’s no evidence any data or personal information was compromised but some parents still have questions.

It’s unsettling news for Carrie Last. Her daughter goes to Carman Elementary, one of the schools affected by the breach.

“I just don’t know what all they put on there so it makes you wonder what all they’ve inputted into this system,” said Last.

Maplewood is run by a company called Edsembli.

School divisions in Manitoba that use the system said they were informed Friday the Maplewood server was breached and that the company restricted access to the information while it works on fixing the problem.

“It’s always a concern,” said Brad Winkler, grandparent of two Carman elementary students. “Nobody likes to have something go wrong and not work properly and everybody likes to keep their information … the lid on it as close as you can.”

The Prairie Rose School Division which includes Carman schools, Sunrise School Division as well as the Manitoba School for the Deaf are among those affected.

A spokesperson for Manitoba’s education minister said each school division is responsible for its own student information system and that the government isn’t involved in those systems.

Cathy Tymko, superintendent of the Sunrise School Division, told CTV News the database contains electronic files on each student which includes information such as their name, birth date and grades.

Edsembli didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday but divisions contacted by CTV News said they’ve been assured no data or personal information has been compromised.

Divisions said the company is working on restoring services. The Prairie Rose School Division has told parents the work will delay the release of report cards.

“We’ll get it eventually and it’ll all still be the same,” said Last.

Last hopes delayed report cards are the only consequence of the breach.

Divisions are hopeful services will be restored later this week.

The Prairie Rose School Division said report cards will be released next week and parent-teacher interviews will go ahead as planned.

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