Remote Learning: Help Your K-12 and Higher-Ed Clients Get Back to School Safely

By | Managed Services News

Sep 25

Remote learning leaves your education clients vulnerable to security risks. Here’s how to keep them (and their students) safe.

Educators have been faced with a very unusual return to school this year. At every level, from colleges and universities to preschools, the education system is struggling to provide services to students during the pandemic. Some organizations and districts are operating fully remotely this fall; others are offering a mix of in-person and online classes.

Because most of these schools weren’t equipped for distance learning, they’re using a mix of Google Classroom, Zoom meetings and other services that have been cobbled together–in some cases with very little preparation, and in most cases being used by novice users. This has left schools and students vulnerable to cybercriminals.

Over the summer, the FBI issued a Private Industry Notification warning that cybercriminals would increasingly target K-12 schools as they shift to remote learning.

EdTech security risks are similar to those faced by other types of organizations, such as ransomware, data security and account takeovers. There are also risks associated with applications that students and teachers use for remote learning but aren’t necessarily part of the school’s official IT infrastructure.

For MSPs with clients in the education sector, here are few tips to help those clients get back to school safely and securely.

Conduct a security audit. Work with clients to identify gaps in their security infrastructure and find ways to ensure they have the right tools in place to keep their remote learners safe.

Encourage clients to create an approved list of applications and enforce that list. Teachers and professors frequently have to come up with resources and solutions on their own, but they can’t be left to improvise when it comes to remote learning technology. Help your clients explain the importance of using approved tools and create policies to make sure staff follow the rules.

Use remote monitoring tools to help clients keep a handle on their G-suite and other EdTech tools. Cloud-based solutions require users to take on more security responsibilities, but many users have no idea who is responsible for securing data in the cloud. A cloud security platform and monitoring capabilities are critical in this environment.

Cloud-based solutions may represent the most significant threat right now because many schools have

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