A universal truth over the past two years in the education sector has been this: students must continue to learn, whether at school, at home, or somewhere in between. For many school systems and institutions, that meant sending students home with whatever device they could get their hands on, even ones that were destined for disposal. The technology had to get into the hands of the students, one way or another. For many, this came at the cost of appropriate security measures. Schools and institutions were more exposed to security attacks, with online data more sensitive than ever.
In the two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools have returned to an all-in-person learning environment. However, for many, the ill effects linger – in 2021 alone, 67 separate ransomware attacks hit 954 schools and colleges, putting the personal data of more than 950,000 students at risk, according to research by a security firm . Comparitech.
As we enter a new school year, it’s time to ask ourselves: how can we better prepare and protect our students to form a line of defense against malicious attacks? And moreover, who is responsible for training them properly?
Here are some crucial considerations for the future of cybersecurity training in schools.
Why Do Schools Have Bad Cybersecurity Posture? How has COVID changed that?
Schools have been susceptible to cyberattacks for as long as any other technology-using industry. Whereas before COVID a lot of learning, and even homework, was done offline, recordings, grades, data, etc. have been stored online for some time. However, unlike many tech companies and legacy organizations, there has been a noticeable lack of IT training for the school. IT professionals. Education IT teams have been so strained by the onslaught of remote learning that they have had to scale, plan, and correct at a faster rate than ever.