Cybersecurity awareness is must for Edtech ecosystem in India

It is crucial for schools and universities to invest in safe and secure learning environments and to help their students achieve the best digital learning in every way possible.

Post-pandemic, it is not only remote work that has become a new norm, but remote learning has also accelerated among institutions and students. Digital classrooms have become a staple in many schools. Online courses are now part of university education. Professionals can also upgrade through various online learning platforms that offer advanced courses. Many companies use these digital platforms to train their employees.

However, these sudden changes in the education sector have found users ill-prepared for cyberattacks that target e-learning. In August 2020, the University of Mumbai’s Institute for Open and Distance Learning canceled its exams after its server was hit by a cyberattack. According to Check Point Research, the education and research sector experienced the highest attack volumes in 2021 and 2022 globally.

Unlike large corporations which are equipped with security fortresses, educational institutions, due to lack of awareness, budget issues and limited resources, do not focus enough on security and therefore can become easy targets. for cyberattacks. Online education is a relatively new concept in India and the importance of cyber security has yet to be prioritized.

Targeting of personal data

Educational technology in schools and universities often involves smart classrooms, automated attendance, and ERPs. While the shift to digital learning undoubtedly has multiple benefits for humanity, we cannot ignore the fact that it comes with its own set of problems.

According to Check Point Research, education and research still leads the most targeted industry, with an average of 2,297 attacks against organizations each week in the first half of 2022, an increase of 44% compared to the first half of 2021.

It has been found that personal data stolen from Edtech platforms is frequently sold on the dark web. Cybercriminals steal the personal information of staff, students and parents to demand ransom or even threaten to damage the reputation of institutions.

Better to be secure than hacked

Self-precautionary measures are a greater help before raising the safety standards of the e-learning ecosystem. As we continue to equip ourselves with the highest security measures for online learning, it will be in vain if we do not educate users on the do’s and don’ts of the Internet.

Safety tips for students:

Make sure the webcam and microphones are blocked when the class is not in session

· No personal information should be visible on the camera

A strong password is a strong deterrent for hackers to enter the system

Clicking on meeting links that are only shared by the host team and clicking only on trusted links

· Avoid clicking on random popups that look shady during any of the sessions

· Never share confidential information through online tools.

Importance of e-education

The personal data of schools and especially large academic institutions are lucrative for hackers who misuse it. It is the responsibility of these institutions to conduct workshops for students and even their parents, on the risks of being targeted by malicious actors online and on various suspicious platforms to avoid.

From teaching them how to recognize suspicious emails to helping them understand best practices for storing and sharing information, these workshops can be truly effective in raising learning security standards. remotely or digitally. It is crucial that schools and universities invest in safe and secure learning environments and help their students achieve the best digital learning in every way possible.

Norma A. Roth