Education institutions need to prioritize cybersecurity policies for schools. It’s a constantly growing threat, and schools are not spared from this concern. In fact, they are being targeted more and more. The main reason is the vast amount of valuable data they store, from sensitive financial material to an endless supply of sensitive and confidential information of faculty, staff, and students.
Cybersecurity is necessary to protect schools against financial loss and disruption of classes and operations as much as its crucial role in protecting students from harm. It’s a school’s responsibility to protect its students at all times, including their private and personal information. Unfortunately, schools and students are more susceptible than ever, with remote learning becoming more commonplace.
The Cost of Cyber Security Policies for Schools?
The data within these school servers and networks is a precious commodity to hackers looking to profit from them. When there is a breach, everything is in jeopardy of being sold on the dark web or for ransomware to get installed and hold school districts, hostage by locking up all of their information until they pay up. There is also a high chance for a repeat attack since you paid the ransom once; you’ll likely pay again. The costs involved in protecting and improving your overall cybersecurity pale in comparison to that of a breach.
Why are Schools so Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?
Schools are considered soft targets by cyber criminals. Most have outdated systems, with limited or inefficient security in place. There isn’t enough emphasis and training to teach the staff about ransomware and cybersecurity. Phishing emails are one of the most prevalent types of attacks, and unsuspecting or unaware employees open them all the time.
Hackers also know schools don’t have dedicated personnel monitoring and tracking their networks 24/7 for any issues or threats. They know you are outmatched and will relentlessly try to break through.
How Schools Can Protect Themselves
- Educate personnel
- Limit access to key personnel when possible
- Update Software
- Create a strong password policy
- Back up all data often
- Have a response plan to any breaches
- Hire an outside cybersecurity company
Outsourcing Your Cyber Security
Most schools don’t have the capacity or trained personnel in-house to handle all the necessary cybersecurity needs and concerns. They are getting by with the basics, and it’s only a matter of time before these outdated preventions fail. You need the help of trained professionals to not only install the best security software available but also to ensure that you haven’t already been breached and just don’t know it yet.
Ransomware can be embedded, extracting information for years before you realize it. A professional cybersecurity firm can identify things like this and form and implement an action plan immediately. The benefits of tracking and monitoring your network on a round-the-clock basis are imperative to ensuring the most comprehensive protection possible.
TCI Technologies offers cybersecurity solutions. Reach out to learn how we can help your school stay safe from cyber threats.