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a children's art fair sponsored by la Fundacion Cristo Rey

How la Fundación Cristo Rey Uses Symantec to Protect Student Data

The Spanish Civil War left many young children orphaned in its aftermath. In Valladolid, Spain, Jesuit priest Father Cid sought to address this crisis in 1939 by founding Escuelas Cristo Rey.

Today, the organization, now known as la Fundación Cristo Rey, continues to support educational activities related to Society of Jesus schools, as well as other nonprofits, in the Spanish regions of Castilla y León and Santander.

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As part of its mission, the organization also provides teacher training, adult vocational training, and educational scholarships to families in need. In addition, la Fundación Cristo Rey offers tax, legal, labor, and education consultation services to every nonprofit organization in its purview.

A Need for Data Protection

illustration of a locked vault keeping people's identify safe, symbolizing data security for nonprofits

In all, la Fundación Cristo Rey serves 3,000 students and 50 nonprofit organizations, so it has assumed stewardship of a great deal of sensitive personal data. Ivan Lopez Fernandez, who works in IT at the organization, reports that the nonprofit tried a selection of security software but found some options to be unreliable and others to slow systems down.

In the end, la Fundación Cristo Rey decided on Symantec and requested it from DONO, a program of ILUNION Tecnología y Accesibilidad. ILUNION is TechSoup's partner organization in Spain.

La Fundación Cristo Rey has been using it ever since. "We trust Symantec because their products are of a high quality, fits perfectly with our needs, and thanks to the DONO Donations Program and TechSoup, we can afford the purchase," Ivan explained.

Security Made Easier in the Cloud

Today, la Fundación Cristo Rey protects its data with Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition, a cloud-based security solution designed with small and medium-sized organizations in mind.

"Security is very important to us since we work with highly confidential data, both of workers and underage students," Ivan said. "Moreover, the cloud installation allows us an easy deployment and maintenance on our equipment."

With Symantec Endpoint Protection, Ivan is able to manage all the foundation's computers from a single location via the cloud. This functionality helps minimize the resources required to keep each user protected from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, rootkits, and even never-before-seen threats.

"So far, Symantec has prevented us from getting infected by any virus or ransomware, thus impeding that our data is exposed on the Internet," Ivan said.

Safer Data, Safer Students

Given the scope of la Fundación Cristo Rey's target population, a data breach could have massive consequences.

"Internet security requires a great effort for us and for our NPOs, because most of the data we handle is about minors and their families, with details about their personal, academic, economic, or even physical circumstances," Ivan noted, pointing out that laws in Spain and Europe surrounding data privacy are quite robust.  "A security breach would be a great setback for families and thereby to our reputation, not to mention the hypothetical civil and criminal legal consequences of the data leak."

Using Symantec helps la Fundación Cristo Rey feel confident that the data it keeps is safe. That confidence ensures that it can focus more on its mission — ensuring that people of all ages receive the high-quality education they deserve.

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Additional Resources: Data Security for Nonprofits