Remember the excitement of heading back to school? Spending hours organizing your pencil box and binder until you got it just right? Fresh notebooks ready to be filled with notes and doodles? For today’s student, the same excitement is there (most of the time hopefully), but the tools have changed. Instead of binders, there are smartphones and laptops. Instead of notebooks, there are cloud app suites for education, like Google G Suite and Microsoft 365.
Students have the world at their fingertips. Most of the time people think and talk about the changes this technology has brought to collaboration and communication in schools. But there is another side to these tools, and that’s the security needed for cloud apps.
Cybersecurity: Threats Facing Schools & Universities
Cloud apps bring a lot of benefits to the classroom; however, they also bring a different type of threat. Cloud security for schools is especially important considering the sensitive student information that is shared on a daily basis in schools. Email, file attachments, collaborating in cloud apps like Google Suite and Microsoft 365 are all day-to-day tools common throughout every level of our education system. However helpful this technology is for communication and collaboration, there is still a security risk that needs to be addressed.
Here are just a few potential cloud security problems schools and universities face:
- Phishing and malware schemes through email leading to data loss or corruption
- Sharing of sensitive student or employee personal information that goes against school policies
- Compliance with federal and state regulations like FERPA, COPPA, HIPPA, etc.
Student Security & Safety
As the internet and virtual resources became more popular and available, schools implemented content filters for their networks. Now, a lot of schools are 1:1, meaning students are given computers, iPads, Chromebooks, etc. for the school year. Some schools have even moved to electronic books. (See ya heavy backpacks!) Students are communicating and working together more and more online and off campus.
This leads to blurred lines for schools when it comes to student safety and security. Who is responsible if a student has inappropriate content stored in an app used by the school?? Even if it was done at home, it was still done on school property? How does a school keep all the technology and equipment safe from malware and phishing when it’s not on the school network?
In addition, a lot of schools and universities are moving from physical servers to the cloud to store important student and staff information. The use of Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 is especially common, with both often being used in tandem. All of these advances in technology require security needs to evolve as well, which can leave a lot of questions for school officials.
Simple Cloud Security Solution
Cloud security doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. We understand the importance of time and money when it comes to the educational system. ManagedMethods’ goal is to make cloud security simple and affordable, so educators can focus on what’s important to them: the students.
It’s important for schools to be proactive about cloud security. St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado, a large, technology-forward school district, implemented our customizable cloud security system to quickly gain visibility and flexibility in cloud security for their students and staff. Small districts benefit from our easy and affordable solution as well. Troy ISD, a Texas district with just 1,500 students, likes how ManagedMethods helps the district meet federal and state compliance requirements, and provides real-time visibility of objectionable content and other threats in G Suite.