When we hear about technology’s impact on education, we most commonly picture kids with their eyes glued to the screens, ignoring every word we say. However, despite a few drawbacks, technology has brought many novices to the education system and improved how we learn and teach.
For example, students nowadays have access to more diverse information than ever before. Furthermore, communication and collaboration with peers and teachers have shifted from a relatively closed classroom to a more open environment where they can engage in conversation with scientists, teachers, and students from remote schools and gain the first-hand experience they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate in. Also, since technology has entered the equation, the teacher’s role has shifted from being the absolute authority and source of information to being a guide allowing the students to explore and discover new things for themselves.
WHAT RISKS ARE STUDENTS FACING?
1. Data breach
IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report concluded that every data breach in the educational sector costs around 4.77 million per incident. In most cases, students were responsible for the leakage. The list of potential security threats is endless – from intentionally shared passwords to hacked cloud services and school’s data systems – almost every nook and cranny in the system can leak your data and endanger your students, employees, and their families.
Malware is a well-known nemesis of educational systems since students often don’t recognize the threat and don’t report the problems regularly. Therefore, malware infection can give hackers access to your school devices and permanently disable them, or it could eventually lead to data leakage.
Ransomware is a type of malware designed to take your data as a hostage and keep it out of reach until you pay the ransom. Schools tend to be an excellent target for ransomware since they often lack proper cybersecurity training and funds to create a solid security framework.
HOW TO STAY PROTECTED
1. Limit access to sensitive data
Stolen personal information like names, dates of birth, addresses, and phone numbers can easily lead to identity theft, and they can be a source of various crimes committed on your behalf. Thus, make sure to grant access to sensitive data to only a few people who genuinely need it.
2. Use a VPN for the router
Data in transfer tends to be quite sensitive since it is susceptible to an array of cyberattacks. Hence, an excellent way to protect all school devices is to install a VPN app on the school router. Considering that a Virtual Private Network ciphers data in transfer, it’ll keep sensitive school information out of the hacker’s reach and keep an eye on students’ privacy.
3. Conduct cybersecurity training
PurpleSec’s report has ranked the education industry as last in cybersecurity preparedness of all seventeen researched industries. Therefore, you should conduct regular staff and student training in cybersecurity to introduce them to the importance of keeping an eye on their devices and data and possible threats they may face.
Creating a secure online environment for students may be a challenge, but it’s crucial to remember that every cybersecurity strategy requires dedication and time to develop. Thus, implement this advice into your security plan and slowly build your framework as you see needed.