How to improve cyber security in education and schools

As vital as physical security is in schools. There’s just as much importance in protecting student’s data and information online through strong cybersecurity.

 

Our experience has led us to work across many different sectors (Manufacturing, Non-for-profit and Healthcare to name a few) but it’s interesting how many of the same services are used.

 

For example, IT support is vital for a healthcare client as they deal with patients’ day to day and need access to patient information. However, IT support is just as important to a manufacturing client, as their workforce is often made up of contracted laborer’s who are working on projects every day, who need to access payment and customer history.

 

Both are completely different sectors but rely on the same service. Cyber security is no different.

 

Every organisation wants to protect their personal data. They don’t want to put finances at risk. And they don’t want business information falling into the wrong hands. In a different sector that is more vulnerable like education – security is seen much differently. When it doesn’t have to be.

 

Incredibly, 95% of cyber attacks and scams happen through user error. That means just 5% is due to a virus or file being sophisticated enough that it makes it bypassed any users and wasn’t stopped by the technology in place.

 

It’s important to be teaching students about what types of dangers there are when it comes to spotting dangers in an education environment. As well as having the technology to detect and destroy the harmful virus that does make it through.

 

To help explain a few more ways, we’ve pulled together some way’s education professionals can keep their cybersecurity strong:

 

 

Mimecast – A Tools that Teaches

Mimecast is an antivirus software partner of ours that provides email, network and device protection from cyber threats. One of the reasons we are partners with Mimecast is due to their technology that improves and encourages learning whilst protecting a user.

 

For example, any link that is sent to a user in an email is analysed, and then either blocked or permitted. Ensuring that the link is safe or harmful to access.

 

Aside from this, Mimecast also randomly prompts the user to judge whether they think the link is safe or harmful. Educating the user about future suspicious links.

 

Personal devices the internet of things

By 2020 there will be roughly 200 billion connected devices. But are education facilities updating their policies about new devices?

 

 

One of our services is IT infrastructure. This gives an overview of how the IT is used within a business or organisation. And judge what solutions would bring productivity and efficiency to operations day to day. Another aspect is to see what devices are connected to your network. Or to set up rules and regulations to stop devices accessing too much information.

 

We regularly advice organisations to put the appropriate restrictions in place, as more and more modern technology depends on access to the internet and a network. If a student, employee or visitor brings in a device and connects to your network – could they gain access to very sensitive information? It’s worth evaluating and revisiting.

 

Content filters

Finally, one of the most undervalued aspects of security is what can pass through a firewall or antivirus.

 

This is where content filters need to be set up and configurated. Take time to decide what sites need access to bypass firewalls. And furthermore, it is always worth revisiting your content filters and updating them regularly with new or outdated sites.

 

Next steps?

 

If you would like any more advice about how to increase or develop your Cyber Security,  please give us a call on 02920 887 362 or send us an email us at info@excellence-it.co.uk

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