Ellucian leverages Nightfall for Data Security on Slack

In the world of higher education, Ellucian stands out as one of the leading providers of software and cloud services. The Reston, Virginia-based firm provides solutions ranging from student information systems (SIS) to finance and recruiting software for over 2500 colleges and universities worldwide.

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  • As an education technology services provider Ellucian must abide by stringent compliance regulations to protect student data.


  • Nightfall provides Ellucian the insights it needs to scan cloud communications channels like Slack in real-time to protect against data exposure risks in a way that doesn't impact is 3,000 employees.

Securing communications for fast-moving EdTech org

Ellucian, the premiere software and cloud services provider in the higher education industry, uses Nightfall’s DLP for Slack as one method of securing company communications. Josh Sosnin, Ellucian’s Chief Information Security Officer, found that Nightfall provides instant visibility and accountability for the company’s 3000 employees.

With thousands of employees worldwide, managing multi-channel communication at Ellucian is anything but predictable. The amount of data flowing among employees created a serious potential hazard: leaks of sensitive information.

Josh Sosnin, Ellucian’s CISO, is an expert on the subject of sensitive information. He has over 20 years of global experience in information security and IT compliance, including Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and PCI compliance. In addition to designing and implementing numerous security programs, Sosnin has also served as a data privacy advocate for sensitive data belonging to millions of customers and hundreds of thousands of employees in his career.

Sosnin recognized the need to detect and react to sensitive information flowing across various platforms, starting with Slack. Because Slack has no built-in data loss protection (DLP), Sosnin had to find a DLP platform that could handle Ellucian’s considerable needs. Nightfall proved to be the perfect platform for the job.

Simplifying security with Nightfall for Slack

The Ellucian team was immediately impressed with Nightfall’s simplicity in both installation and day-to-day use. The Nightfall bot instantly integrates with Slack without any tedious and cumbersome setup. “It took literally minutes to get to the pilot stage and start to see in action,” Sosnin remarks.

“We look forward to extending our use of Nightfall beyond Slack.”
Josh Sosnin

Powered by machine learning, Nightfall scans Ellucian’s Slack messages and files for sensitive content. The Nightfall bot then classifies sensitive data and personally identifiable information (PII) automatically, using over 25 PII detectors without any need for prior tuning or tagging. After Nightfall classifies the data, users can manually quarantine the sensitive information or implement automated workflows to save time and maximize efficiency.

What has been the immediate benefit for the Ellucian team?  “Instant visibility,” Sosnin says. And with that transparency, he adds, the Ellucian team now has “an additional capability to confirm policies are being followed” across the company.

Expanding security beyond Slack

Even though Nightfall provides a simple, turnkey solution, the platform’s customer service is second to none. Sosnin remarks that the Nightfall success team has been “so easy to work with, almost real-time response to questions.”

“It just works.”
Josh Sosnin

The concierge-level support has inspired the Ellucian team to examine implementing Nightfall across their entire technology footprint. In addition to Slack DLP, Nightfall can assist companies like Ellucian to secure data infrastructure like AWS and SaaS platforms like Box.

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