In the News | IoT Threats in Schools: Best Practices for Mitigating Dangers

This article was originally published in The Fast Mode on 2.22.24 by Charlie Sander, CEO at ManagedMethods.

Classrooms have been transported into the 21st century with IoT devices

The Internet of Things (IoTs) devices have managed to transport educational classrooms into the 21st century with tools like interactive smart boards, tablets, and, yes, all those Chromebooks. However, this revolution has come at a cost. The start of 2023 saw a 41% rise in the average number of weekly cyberattacks targeting IoT devices compared to 2022. And 2024 is already proving to be rough for schools. At least four districts have reported data breaches already this year, while others are still recovering from attacks over the holidays.

The education and research sector, in particular, is facing an unprecedented surge in attacks targeting IoT devices, with 131 weekly attacks per organization – more than twice the global average and a staggering 34% increase from the previous year.

One of the big drivers in this jump is the rise in remote learning, which naturally necessitates more IoT devices, making schools prime targets. With many schools constrained by restricted budgets and tight labor markets, cybersecurity is unlikely to be a priority in many districts.

The surge of IoT devices in modern classrooms

No longer confined to dusty textbooks and static blackboards, education is experiencing a revolutionary metamorphosis. Gartner predicts that the number of IoT devices in educational settings will reach 2.5 billion by 2025.

Typical IoT devices found in schools include laptops, tablets, lighting, heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems, security cameras and locks, printers and copiers, smart boards, and interactive displays. It’s easy to understand the widespread adoption of IoT devices in schools due to the benefits they create for enhanced learning experiences. For example…


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