Media stories often detail incidents of hacking and data breaches at companies in various industries. But it might surprise you to learn that schools and educational institutions are also a favorite target of hackers and cybercriminals, which is why cybersecurity is essential in the education sector.
This is because many schools are often woefully unprepared in ensuring a secure IT infrastructure, making it all too easy for hackers to infiltrate a school’s private network.
Why Is Cybersecurity Essential in the Education Sector?
School supervisors, principals and district leaders must realize the growing importance of cybersecurity in the education sector in order to ensure the safety of administrators and staff as well as students and their families. Student protection includes data and online protection. Here is what cybersecurity in the education sector looks like:
Protecting Digital Records
School databases hold a significant amount of private data about students and staff. Addresses, social security numbers, and even sensitive medical data might be in a student or teacher’s digital file. This information is an easy target for cybercriminals, who can utilize the data for identity theft or other malicious acts.
In fact, children are often a preferred target for identity theft. That’s because the theft may not actually be discovered for many years, when the individual attempts to get a car loan or apply for financial aid to go to college.
Protecting the location information of students and staff is also important for their physical safety. Therefore, keeping these records secure is of extreme importance and should be a top priority for any educational institution.
Minimizing Liability Risks
In the event of a data breach, district leaders could be held liable for not securing data properly. Companies face severe fines for enabling data breaches, and school leaders can even be sued by families whose data was leaked.
Like many businesses in other industries, educational institutions must remain in compliance with several legal requirements and regulations. Ensuring compliance while managing the security of the school’s IT infrastructure requires skill, knowledge, and expertise in the cybersecurity field.
Maintaining Daily Operations
Teachers and administrators increasingly utilize technology throughout the day to complete a number of daily tasks. The last thing an educational facility wants to face is a slowdown or shutdown of the network due to a cyberattack. When the network is struggling or unable to be accessed, hours and even days worth of productivity could be lost. Regular classroom sessions that utilize technology or lesson plans stored on the network could be impacted, and scheduling and many other vital activities could also be halted.
Why Choose ANC Group
School administrators and district leaders have a responsibility to the school, the students, staff, and families to ensure that the IT infrastructure is safe from cyberattacks. Families, staff, and children rely on their educational institutions to keep their data safe from cyber attacks. Make sure that your organization understands that cybersecurity is essential in the education sector so you’re prepared for any threat that comes along.
To learn more about the importance of cybersecurity in the education sector and to take action to improve cybersecurity in your own institution, contact ANC Group today. We’ll make protecting your school data our top priority.