As students prepare for their upcoming school year to begin, it is also time for institutions to prepare for cybersecurity defenses with the return of hackers. Each school year, hackers become a problem. Some schools are more vulnerable to it than others. It has become increasingly harder to manage hackers now that BYOD (bring your own device) policies have been implemented within the past couple years. Schools should focus on cybersecurity learning to help students recognize dangerous links, protecting their devices, and become aware of how to spot a hacker.
Students as well as teachers must have clear, enforceable, and realistic policies for BYOD. Rather than focusing on banning any devices from students (because it is not realistic), schools should focus on protocols. Education institutions should take steps to demonstrate the importance of cybersecurity, because it is often forgotten about. Cybersecurity advisor Richard Lindsey says he repeatedly sees student handbook not mention cybersecurity at all. This will only cause more of a threat to everyone in the school because they will have no knowledge the importance of securing themselves from a potential hacker. If schools take the basic steps to demonstrate cyber security best practices, it will lessen the trend of attacks in schools.
One cybersecurity best practice is to schedule regular cyber- drills. Schools have other daily drills, so adding in a cyber related drill by an MSP will ensure that both students and faculty have the best knowledge and know what to do if there were to be a real hacker in their presence. Although, this drill will depend on the student’s age. Any other type of training that can be provided to students would be extremely beneficial. Cybersecurity should be talked about to students so that they can absorb the information early on. It can be harder to give training to teachers who are not as cyber- savvy.
In conclusion, as students begin to head back to school, so do hackers. Keeping the school year safe starts with cybersecurity awareness to stop a hacker who targets the education field. The first step a school can take is incorporating cybersecurity policies and its importance into a student handbook or brochure/ email on their first day. Additionally, establishing BYOD policies to students and teachers can help have a realistic approach to having safe technology. Implementing regular drills also are a great form of training for students to see real life situations from a hacker that ranges from small attempts of a breach to an all-out criminal ransomware attack. There are several ways schools can prepare for the upcoming and inevitable hacker. This trend has not slowed down within schools, so now is the time to roll out the best security practices to fight off a hacker.