The past year has brought dramatic changes to the education sector with many schools having to adapt to remote teaching and learning.

Schools are in charge of protecting a great amount of personal data. However, as teachers and other school staff work from home and with students participating in online learning via digital platforms, school’s networks have become increasingly more vulnerable. This has made the already sizeable task of managing data security for schools, colleges and universities even harder. 

Still, today, data protection in educational establishments is more important than ever.  

Following a rise in online attacks against UK schools, colleges and universities, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reiterated the need for the education sector to have the right digital infrastructure in place to be able to protect their systems and keep online and face-to-face learning from stopping. 

With 75% of cybercrime being preventable, it is best not to leave anything to chance. Below are a few cyber security essentials to check off your list:  

Back up the Right Data Regularly

Monitor your data regularly to ensure that no critical data falls through the cracks. Consider not backing up any data that never changes or has not been accessed in a long time as it might be consuming valuable disk space. Non-essential data, stored locally, can also cause long lead times due to hardware storages. 

Apply software updates, use malware protection and Firewalls 

Outdated software and operating systems create weaknesses that make them easier to hack. Check whether or not your system has an up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware protection installed. Prevent your staff clicking on links to fraudulent websites by configuring secure Firewall protection. 

TIP: Turn on automatic updates for your devices to avoid updating them manually.  

Keep your devices safe 

Remote working requires remote system access which brings new potential risks that should not be overlooked. Establish risk-based policies, procedures and prevention protocols that support remote working or remote access to systems. Only allow access via company owned devices with secure controls in place. Avoid using USB sticks and opt for data cloud storages. 

Download your full Cyber Security Checklist for the Education sector. 

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