Choosing a school for your children can be difficult. You want to give your child the best start in life and ensure a lack of safety on school premises does not inhibit their education. You need to ensure the school you choose is safe.
Your child’s safety in school is not just about securing the premises; it’s about ensuring their sensitive information and online studies are protected by a robust cybersecurity strategy. Keep reading to learn about the top cybersecurity considerations for parents choosing a school for their children.
Institutions That Are Prepared For Security Threats And Attacks
You must know that your child’s institution has response and protection strategies for security threats and attacks. A cybersecurity breach could cause your child’s sensitive information, such as their home address, to fall into the hands of a third party – which could be devastating for your security.
Your child will also likely be accessing online learning resources during their studies, which means they will need to use their device to access the school network. Should the school’s network become compromised, this could compromise your child’s device. Any institution, including private universities you consider for your child’s education should have measures to prepare for and prevent security threats and attacks.
Cybersecurity For Flexible/Remote Classes
Since the pandemic, many schools have been implementing flexible and remote classes. This is for many reasons – it supports students that do not feel comfortable returning to school due to health risks, and it makes classes more accessible to students who are stressed or unwell.
There have been many incidents on school premises where third parties have made their way into online classrooms, writing inappropriate messages in chat rooms and compromising student security. To ensure your child is safe when accessing flexible and remote classes, you should look for an institution that protects its online classrooms with cybersecurity measures. Some of the best cybersecurity measures to look for include:
- Firewalls – a firewall is a cybersecurity tool that monitors all traffic entering and exiting the network to ensure only trustworthy sources are permitted to access network resources.
- Software updates – your institution should keep all software up-to-date consistently. If they are operating using older software versions, this could open up the online classroom to security threats. Older software versions have vulnerabilities that may not be present in the most current version, so performing regular updates is essential.
- Cybersecurity training – the institution should provide both students and employees with cybersecurity training – outlining the importance of creating strong and unique passwords. They should also provide training on the importance of only sharing private information with trusted and verified sources, along with how to spot malware and phishing scams.
- Encryption – the institution should encrypt all data for online classrooms and school databases. Encrypting data ensures that it is unreadable to those who do not have the cipher, so even if there is a cybersecurity breach, the third party will not be able to access any readable or valuable data.
Access Restrictions And Role-Based Permissions
To secure the school and student data, the institution you choose should have physical and digital access restrictions. Users must present access credentials or biometrics to access the premises and online resources.
Additionally, the institution should only grant role-based permissions, ensuring that users only gain access to the data they need to carry out daily operations and nothing more. This way, if there is a data breach due to a compromised account or password, a third party will only gain access to a limited amount of information.
Understanding The Connection Between Cyber And Physical Security
To implement effective cybersecurity, an educational institution must understand the connection between cyber and physical security. Since the institution’s buildings are home to server rooms and databases, a physical security breach could expose sensitive information.
So, it becomes essential to secure the building with physical security installations like access control and video security to ensure that all on-site data is secure. The institution should secure the building from intruders, and there should be additional security, such as door access control, to protect server rooms and prevent an internal security breach.
Keycard and fob systems are among the best security installations for educational institutions. Members of staff and students will gain keycards and fobs to enter the building, and the high-level team will gain keycards to access private areas like server rooms and filing rooms. Staff members and students can wear lanyards to store their keycards and fobs to avoid losing their access keys.
When enrolling your child into reception, you must ensure the institution practices adequate security. Cybersecurity helps to ensure your child’s data is secure and protects them while they access online education resources. A data breach at an educational institution can affect your security, so look for the cybersecurity measures listed in this article before enrolling your child into a school.