Making Schools Safer Online

We hear about data breeches in retail and healthcare all the time because they are big targets for data thieves. But what about education? Breeches are very common in education. We don’t hear about the breeches often because they are typically smaller and nobody knows how many records were compromised.

IT departments are taking notice of the breeches. An Educause survey from 2015 found security issues were a lower concern for IT leaders. However, in 2016 and 2017, information security became the number one issue for educational institutions.

ESET security software recommends IT departments should follow these three steps to keep data safe.

  1. Know what you need to protect. Inventory your assets and understand the risks to them. It can help to prioritize and justify cybersecurity investments if you have a small budget
  2. Address the technology risks. Prevent hacking by securing data before threats can happen
    • Make sure to update desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and routers and set auto updates when possible
    • Segment networks keeping student and teacher devices on a different subnet than payroll, healthcare and research records
    • Don’t allow administrator access to anyone unless they truly need it
    • Use stronger credentials to verify identity
    • Deploy web and email filters that check for spam and phishing
    • Prevent malware from entering your network by installing security software on gateways, servers, and endpoints
    • Encrypt sensitive data
    • Perform backups and test them regularly
  3. Address the human risks. Threats rely on social engineering tactics to lure victims via web or email
    • Educate student and teachers on computer security
    • Work with users and tailor security measures so they can complete tasks without unnecessary restrictions
    • Reward employees when they find weak sports or notice phishing attempts

Contact your DSC Account Manager for more information on security software like ESET

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