Improving Data Security in Schools Part 1: Hybrid Learning

Improving Data Security in Schools Part 1: Hybrid Learning

This is the first piece in a series about education security challenges in 2020-2021.


Education has been an underrated and understated hotbed for cybersecurity threats. School officials and security teams are tasked with not only protecting the personally identifiable information (PII) of students, faculty, staff, consultants and contractors, but also their health and financial data. These issues have always been security threats. But, the pandemic has shifted the emphasis on data security in schools.


Security threats to schools now include protecting school networks from malware. And, these attacks become more relevant as students and faculty connect from home. Hijacked video services and bring-your-own-device type issues are also possible as devices are transferred between home and the classroom for hybrid learning. 


“Unless students, teachers and administrators are IT experts, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they have had malware introduced to their device,” Doug Levin, head of EdTech Strategies and former director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, told eSchool News. “If you got your router from Best Buy or the cable company, you might not have changed the settings on it. Bad guys know that, and they look for devices they can compromise.”


Data Security in Schools in a Chaotic Time


Academia across all levels has embraced digital transformation for this school year. Even the youngest children are using connected devices. While students may seem like they were born with gadgets in their hands, this may be the first time many of them are using a computer for something other than gaming. Unfortunately, the one lesson they aren’t being taught is how their behavior impacts cybersecurity and can hurt data security in s ..