Education and cybersecurity compliance

The internet has become the new normal for many sectors, especially education. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is done remotely and on digital platforms

Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information and take less time, meaning the changes Covid-19 has caused might be here to stay.

Even though many educational establishments have gone back to normal, they are still relying on the internet and e-learning.

With all this happening, many countries have started to apply stricter regulations of internet usage in educational establishments. Foundations such as the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) are working to keep both students and teachers safe and let them have the best experience without worrying about anything but learning.

Schools or libraries that are eligible for discounts on telecommunications, internet access, or internal connections through e-rate program (Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries) must certify they have an internet safety policy that blocks or filters access to pictures that are obscene, harmful to minors, or contain child pornography.

While the IWF is helping to prevent students from accessing inappropriate content, it isn’t the only threat that students or staff can face.

There are many cyberthreats that can affect both students and the educational establishment itself, such as malware, ransomware, phishing, botnets, and many others.

In 2020, 44% of global educational institutions were targeted by ransomware with an average cost of attack being $2.73 million. This isn’t a number one can brush off and forget about.

Protection methods against such threats don’t cost much compared to the amount of valuable data that can be lost during attacks. Many schools and universities regard cybersecurity as an extra fancy feature when in fact cybersecurity procedures are a must.

Some institutions think it is enough to have an antivirus and firewall, but cybersecurity specialists recommend having extra layers of protection like the protection on the DNS level.

Reasons to have protection on the DNS level

  • Stop threats on the DNS level before they even reach the user’s network so that the user won’t even notice the threat and the antivirus won’t be alerted.
  • Unlike the antivirus, protection on the DNS level is cloud based and they don’t put any pressure on the user’s device.
  • Providers do all the maintenance and take care of the service.
  • Easy to deploy and manage.
  • Doesn’t require any hardware or IT background.

 

Features besides threat intelligence relevant for users

  • Monitoring the internet usage.
  • Top management can monitor and track the internet usage inside the building’s network.
  • Filtering the internet usage.
  • Ability to block websites & content and restrict staff and students from accessing them.
  • Filtering schedule.
    • With this feature, it is possible to create a timetable for the internet usage, where, for example, you can block access to social networks from 09:00am to 11:00am but allow it during breaks from 11:00am to 11:30am.
  • Software agents that can be installed on users’ devices to keep them protected even when they are using other networks like public wifi.
  • Creating different filtering profiles.

For example, a profile that blocks social networks for students and another one that allows social networks for staff.

There are many other features and advantages of having a DNS filtering service.

To learn more, visit our customised page for educational institutions.

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