Cyber Security for Schools the Dos and Don’ts

In the UK, cyberattacks are at a higher risk with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As we all know, cyber security for schools is always an important issue, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine has heightened concerns. School IT infrastructures hold staff and students’ data; therefore, it is the school’s responsibility to protect this data. Reports suggest a 93% increase in cyberattacks in UK education in 2021. 

cyber security for schools

Why is UK education at a higher risk of cyber-attacks due to the Russian invasion?

It is well known that many of the top cyber hackers were born or trained in Russia; therefore, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the current political landscape, UK education should be on high alert for potential cyberattacks. Cyber security for Schools is as vital as ever, and a quick review of your schools’ current solutions would be good practice.

Do’s and Don’ts how to help prevent a cyberattack on your School:

The Do’s of cyber security for schools

  • Create different passwords for every account; otherwise, if one account gets hacked, they all get hacked. Multiple passwords will be hard to remember. If you use a password manager which provides strong encryption, it can keep all your passwords securely in one place because it requires multi-authentication to log in.
  • Create hard-to-guess passwords. A strong password has at least one uppercase, one lowercase, one number and one special character. When creating your password, try using a mixture of upper/lower cases, numbers and special characters. A guide can be found here.
  • Keep all passwords to yourself.
  • Review your cybersecurity solutions for your school at a minimum on an annual basis to ensure it is performing to the required standard to protect your school.
  • Create a cyber aware and phishing awareculture within your school. The more staff and students are aware of cyber attacks’ potential dangers, the more vigilant your whole school will be at preventing cyber-attacks.
  • Always leave work laptops or IT equipment in a secure location. It is less likely for School staff to be working out of the office but do not leave a laptop where it could be stolen.

The Don’ts of cyber security for schools

  • Never give out passwords over the telephone or email.
  • Don’t do not leave passwords or sensitive information lying around the office, as this increases the chances of passwords being stolen or credit details being stolen.
  • Don’t click on any links from an unknown source. Often cyberattacks trick you into downloading malicious software by using links designed to fool the reader into thinking they are getting something they are not.
  • Don’t be fooled by spam emails. If you receive an email that could be a scam, it is highly likely to be. The first thing to do is report it to your IT team at your school. If the email looks legit, check the email sender’s email address as often there will be a slight change in how the address is spelt to fool someone who does not take a closer look.
  • Don’t plug in external devices like USBs and smartphones without having it checked first. These devices might already have software encrypted on ready to attack as soon as it is plugged in.
  • Public Wi-Fi is not secure; it is best to connect to your mobile HubSpot. If you must use public Wi-Fi consider using VPN.
  • Don’t save your passwords on any website or check the ‘keep me logged in’ as all it requires for someone to hack you is to log into your PC, and they have access to all your systems.

The most important takeaways:

  • Be vigilant; you must be mindful of anything which looks suspicious.
  • Spread awareness; it is essential to spread the message across all layers of your school.
  • Review your cybersecurity solutions for your school to ensure they are performing.
  • Be smart; this applies especially to your passwords; make them hard to guess, have multiple passwords and do not share your passwords.

Coconnect provides cybersecurity for schools and MATs. If you need your cybersecurity optimising. Get in touch; alternatively, book a meeting to have an honest conversation.

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