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"I can see why my credit card gets stolen, but why would hackers target schools? Why should I care?"
~ K-12 staff member in one of your buildings
There’s been a lot in the news lately about banks, tech companies, and even the government being the target of hackers. However, somewhat below the radar is an alarming trend where school districts are being targeted by hackers. To answer the first question in the above quote...because there’s money to be made.
- Hackers can find financial information and redirect funds
- Hackers can steal personal information and sell it to other bad actors
- Hackers can prevent access to school systems and hold it for ransom
Unfortunately, the weakest link in protecting data is not the software or hardware, it’s the humans who use the systems. Today, that means just about anyone that uses computers for work, school, and/or using the web. [Include one of the shocking stats here]. How can we increase awareness about the importance of cybersecurity in schools and better equip school employees with the skills to stop cybercriminals?
Let us help!
Recently, Wayne RESA collaborated with the Michigan Educational Technology Leader (METL) group to develop two modules on cybersecurity titled Cybersecurity for Educators - How to Become a Human Firewall. Wayne RESA consultant Jeff Gnagey created two interactive, multimedia modules for schools to use with their staff to protect their data and reduce the cybersecurity attacks on schools. These modules are available on Edupaths and SCECHs are available. The first module (45 minutes) offers lessons on the following topics:
- Strong Passwords
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- Phishing Scams
- Secure Remote Access
The second module (45 minutes) offers lessons on the following topics:
- Working with Personally Identifiable Information
- Sharing Data Securely
- Recognizing, Responding to, and Reporting Incidents
These modules would be a great addition to back-to-school procedures such as signing acceptable use policies and viewing the bloodborne pathogen video. Part of the impetus for this collaboration was in response to a request from our Instructional Technology Leaders group here in Wayne County to provide free training on this very important topic. What else would you like to see developed along these lines?
Jeff Gnagey is a multimedia and television services consultant. Jason Siko is an instructional technology consultant for Wayne RESA. Learn more about the instructional technology department and how it can serve your needs at resa.net/edtech.