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Cybersecurity Awareness for Educational Institutions

By Education Technology Insights | Tuesday, January 08, 2019

CybersecuritySafeguarding the data and systems is important within any organization, and the same rules apply to the education system due to the sensitive nature of the data handled in educational institutions. All educational institutions hold information on both the staff that works and the students of the institution. Data stored there will be ranging from medical history, residential addresses, contact numbers and to the bank details. A threat penetrating to the system will put the information at risk, and the data could be encrypted, stolen, sold or used by hackers.

The problem can start from within hardware or software systems. A member of staff or a student connecting an infected person to the institution's network could leave the systems vulnerable to being infected. This may affect the records of staff, students and exam information. It is primary to both protect this data and ensure a reliable backup in place in case of system failure. The information being compromised can have a massive impact on both the reputation of the institution and the education of the students. Below are the reasons for making cybersecurity a priority.

1. Liability - Educational institutions can be lead liable for network breaches. So it becomes important to take reasonable steps to ensure security.
2. Legal requirements
3. Professional reputation
4. Teaching and learning - A disastrous data breach can halt learning for days or longer.
5. Student's digital records

Educational institutions should consider the following advice when developing online security approaches and cybersecurity.

1. Establishing a strong online boundary can protect the network from cyber attacks, unauthorized access, and malicious content.
2. Updating content filtering systems constantly.
3. Establishing solid access control policies.
4. Ensuring secure configuration and patch management.
5. Investing in cybersecurity and online safety education.

Ensuring a multi-layered approach to the institution's cybersecurity can drastically reduce the risk of threats.

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