Biggest Cybersecurity Challenges in Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned many spheres of life into a remote-first direction. And education was not the exception. Online learning has become a new normal for both teachers and students of any age, including the youngest children. A new developing sphere – EdTech gives numerous opportunities to learn interactively online from anywhere in the world. With more and more educational institutions turning to online learning, cybersecurity has become a crucial point for them. 

This article will be especially useful for those who want to learn more about custom LMS development, for instance, and build their own educational platform. It will help you define the most common threats to educational systems and learn more about the importance of computer security and cybersecurity in education. 

Why is Cybersecurity Essential For Education?

The significance of cybersecurity in education is growing rapidly. The development of PCs and portable devices as well as the Internet have made life easier for many people who work in education. These technologies have also allowed for boosting operations of educational institutions in an online-first world.

Yet, it is also no secret that the same technological advancements that improve life for people can also pose threats if they are used wrong.

Gadgets have become an integral part of our everyday life, regardless of whether for work, studying, or entertainment. As well as the fact as the workplace can be in any place, not only at your school or office.

Hence, it is critical to keep our Internet activities secure from hackers so that sensitive information can’t be accessed by any people who are interested in disclosing or misusing it. 

It is hard to overestimate the significance of cybersecurity in the education sector as modern technologies are more and more widely used.

That’s why it is also essential to protect your devices and the Internet from unauthorized access as data is the most essential asset when it comes to cybersecurity in schools.

Biggest Cybersecurity Issues for Online Learning

Here are the biggest issues to pay attention to while talking about education cyber security. 

Phishing Attacks

This is a common threat not only to the educational sector but also to cyber safety in general. They take place via emails or untrustworthy websites. The users send their critical data to companies or people they find reliable. However, the sources can be owned or managed by hackers. Education platforms and websites often become a target of phishing attacks because children are easier to mislead and give away sensitive data such as phone numbers, emails, credit card numbers, etc. 

Cloud Safety Breaches

Many online learning platforms use cloud-based solutions for their operations. This makes all the information more accessible, and easier to spread and manage. However, on the other hand, it poses the risk of data breaches regarding the sensitive data of students and teachers, as well as data related to financial aspects and operations. If cybercriminals get access to such data illegally, this can cause much harm to the education process.  

Weak Passwords

Do you still create passwords that are just easy to remember? Do you use the same password for every website? Then, you are an ideal target for cybercriminals. While setting a password for your learning accounts, make sure it is not easy to break (your birth date is not good enough, lol). Use two-factor authentication if possible and keep your passwords safe in your password manager or in any other secure place. 

Zoombombing

This is the most recent threat compared with those we mentioned above. It emerged because of the increasing popularity of video conferencing platforms caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and remote lifestyle. Zoombombing means entering your video call room by strangers and interrupting your conference. These people can demonstrate and say unacceptable things to your students and cause many problems with your online class. To avoid it, make sure you share your conference details only with people you can trust or in a private group of your class. 

To sum it all up, following cyber hygiene rules will play a huge role in securing your data. If you plan to develop your own LMS platform, you should choose a reliable cloud service to entrust your sensitive data. 

Tips to avoid cybersecurity issues in your EdTech platform

Here are pieces of advice to strengthen online security of your own educational platform:

  • Conducting regular security audits.
  • Searches for issues and potential threats in your system.
  • Cybersecurity awareness meetings with teachers and students.
  • Setting strong and unrepeated passwords for all users
  • Enabling two-factor authentication (if not for access to the system, then at least for payments).
  • Moving essential data to trustworthy hosting providers for increasing cloud security.

The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness for Students

Cybersecurity awareness is knowing how you can protect yourself from cyberattacks. This involves learning about phishing, spam, and other types of cybersecurity threats.

Such training is a must-have to keep students safe in the online world. Educational institutions should make sure that all devices connected to their Wi-Fi have strong passwords. Cybersecurity awareness can be a part of an educational program. Parents can also teach their kids at home. Children need to be aware of the challenges technology is bringing to our everyday life. They should know how they can explore the world safely.

Final Notes on Cybersecurity in Education

Modern technologies have revolutionized the educational sector by making learning more accessible, interactive, and scalable. However, they also bring certain threats to the safety of both teachers and students. We hope that this article helped you realize how important is cyber security for the online learning process. Following simple rules of cyber hygiene and cyber security will increase the safety and quality of your online learning process.

PKI-Security Engineer & security blogger at gbhackers.com. She is passionate about covering cybersecurity and Technology.

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