Phishing: How Can K-12 Schools Protect Themselves

Education Technology Insights | Monday, July 29, 2019

Schools can stand up against the progression of cyber threat by adding in layers of protection tools and educating students along with the faculty on the phishing techniques.

FREMONT, CA: Most organizations today report that of all types of attacks, phishing is the most concerned security threat for all the districts. So, cybersecurity is vital for organizations to ensure that students are protected as they use digital tools in large numbers. In school systems that offer one-to-one devices to pupils, phishing is a top concern among IT professionals.

Schools, with their heaps of financial and personal data, make way for attractive targets. Spear-phishing attacks specifically target people with messages, which come from an organization or someone they know are increasingly rising. At present, K–12 districts must be more upbeat than ever to defy the rising tide of phishing. For most schools, particularly those with inadequate IT resources, beg for a question—how?

Construct Layers of Protection for Users

Anti-Virus, anti-malware, updated patching, and firewalls are the primary line of defenses to make use of during security threats. Many browsers today have in-built protections which caution users about the potentially risky sites and emails. Turning on the offered Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in browsers will further protect private schools against scams.  To limit damage from a successful attack, institutions require layered security—from data to endpoint, network to cloud. Some institutions can also engage risk and security consultants to test, review, and improve safety.

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Educate Students and Educators to Be Click-Savvy

Increasing community awareness on phishing techniques and threats can help in reducing the vulnerability to an attack. Students are not the only ones who are tricked, but even the faculty and the administrators are because of the inadequate basic skills and awareness. For instance, necessary awareness like not checking the domain name on the browser toolbar can lead to an unsafe environment.

Simulating attacks is a cost-effective way to evaluate the existing state to raise awareness and knowledge. There are a few applications offering services, which allow organizations to personalize and send simulated phishing emails to demonstrate users how to recognize phishing in a safe and controlled environment.

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