The rash of hacks and breaches – in everything from the retail industry to politics and financial institutions – has put cybersecurity on the minds of every organization that depends in any way on an IT infrastructure.
As the education sector becomes more closely integrated with education information technology, the capability of a particular school district to improve results grows – but so does cybersecurity risk.
Schools, after all, deal with a lot of privileged and confidential information. School records are just as vulnerable to breach as personal credit records, except that there are fewer protections in place to guard against cyber attacks in the education sector. Indeed, in the first two quarters of 2017, 13 percent of all data breaches happened in the education sector, resulting in roughly 32 million records being exposed.
Every school district needs to be aware of cybersecurity threats and have a plan in place to mitigate this risk.
Categorizing the Main Threat to School Systems
One main way hackers get into systems and cause data breaches and malware insertion is through what people download onto their computers.
It’s great to let every student have a device that’s connected to the Internet, but unless you have rigorous safeguards, each device represents an opportunity for a student to download something they shouldn’t.
Guarding Against Cybersecurity Attack
A robust user policy that is heavily enforced in the classroom and throughout your school – backed up by limiting or removing access to downloads and email – can be your first line of defense.
A well-designed education IT infrastructure with failsafes and the latest cybersecurity software will form the bulk of your main defenses, along with personnel who can remain vigilant and know what to look for. A simple piece of anti-virus software just won’t cut it in today’s world because hackers have learned to defeat them. It takes more effort to protect your systems and your devices.
Talking to an education IT provider can point you toward the right direction when it comes to protecting a school system from cybersecurity assault.