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  • Writer's pictureAline Silva | PhishX

Why is it important to invest in cybersecurity education for educational institutions?

Technology is already part of our lives and has been responsible for a true digital revolution in education. But behind the promise of fast and broad access to knowledge are the risks of cyberattacks.


Educational institutions are responsible for storing a range of sensitive data and personal information, which makes them targets for cybercriminals. In addition, many schools and universities do not prioritize cybersecurity, making the risk even greater.


The numbers of ransomware attacks targeting schools and colleges are only increasing every day, in addition to other scams such as phishing and data breaches. That is why it is essential that these institutions invest in digital security actions.

Are educational institutions an easy target?

Educational institutions have become one of the main targets of cyberattacks worldwide, according to a study from the United Kingdom, about  92% of these organizations have registered some type of cyberattack.


Among these breaches, the one that stands out the most is ransomware, which is growing exponentially worldwide. There are a few issues that demonstrate why this industry has been receiving more and more cyberattacks.


Schools and universities deal with several challenges, one of which is dealing with children and young adults, who use their own devices in classrooms and connect to unknown networks or share their computers and mobile phones with others.


These actions open security breaches, so that criminals can enter the systems of these institutions and thus apply scams and attacks.


Another determining factor for these actions is that with the advance of the Covid 19 pandemic, many schools and colleges invest in distance learning and even though the pandemic is over, online classes have continued.


In this way, students and staff at institutions deal with their devices and systems on a daily basis that can be hacked by cybercriminals.


In addition, many employees are unaware of the risks that a simple email or a link can pose to the security of the institution. That's why awareness is so important for both employees and students.

Is cybersecurity important to these institutions?

With the advancement of technology and modern education, students and educators access various online resources and it is precisely this dependence on technological means that makes cybersecurity important for these institutions.


After all, the loss or breach of sensitive data can have serious consequences for these institutions and all the people involved


If it occurs:


·        Compromise of student privacy;

·        Academic fraud;

·        Loss of intellectual property;

·        Leakage of sensitive information.


The institution may face fines and judicial sanctions, in addition to losing all its prestige and reputation in the market.


Not to mention that if a cyberattack occurs, while the situation is not resolved, classes can be paralyzed, harming the teaching and development of students.


Another important factor is that these institutions produce a great deal of intellectual research and development.  


Because of this, protecting these documents from theft or compromise is critical to preserving the institution's reputation and maintaining its position as a center of academic excellence.


When we talk about educational institutions, the losses go beyond the financial issue, after all there are countless people who need schools and universities to function correctly.

Cybersecurity Practices for Educational Institutions

Now that we've introduced the rich, and why cybersecurity should be part of people's routine in educational institutions. Let's talk a little bit about best practices for mitigating risk.

Security and Governance Policies

It is important for educational institutions to establish clear cybersecurity and governance policies. These actions are responsible for guiding the use of digital security technologies and strategies.


For this to occur, it is necessary to include and define some guidelines, they are:


·        Use of secure passwords;

·        Acceptable Use Policies;

·        Access to networks and systems;

·        Secure information sharing;

·        Compliance with data protection regulations;

·        Continuous training between people.


It is these policies that will direct people so that they know how to act in cases of attacks. It is necessary to initiate an acculturation in these institutions.


Remember that education is the key to a more informed society in all areas, especially with regard to data security.


People in institutions will only change their thinking about cybersecurity when they understand the issue and know the necessary mechanisms to combat it.

Data Backup & Recovery

When establishing the security policy, it is time to put the actions into practice. It is extremely important for institutions to perform regular backups of the data and information in their systems.


In addition, it is necessary to have a disaster recovery plan that is effective, because in the event of a breach or loss of this information, all of it will be in a safe backup.


Institutions deal with an extensive database and can't afford to let all this information drift. It is necessary to create actions to safeguard any and all available data.


By doing so, universities and schools are able to mitigate the impact that attacks such as ransomware can cause, as well as ensure the availability and integrity of all education information.

Threat Monitoring & Detection

Educational institutions need to implement threat monitoring and detection systems. In this way, it is possible to identify suspicious activities or behaviors. 


Phishing attack simulations are an excellent way to detect threats, because it is possible to identify how many people fall for the simulations and understand the true risk that the institution faces.


Through this data, it is possible to create specific actions that strengthen security around people and thus help mitigate the risks of attacks.


Cybersecurity Trainings

Awareness is the most important action to protect educational institutions from cyberattacks. That's because most scams are directed at people.


And these attacks can come from everywhere, from students, educators, government officials, in short, all people are subject to falling for the actions of criminals. That's why it's important for everyone to know how to protect themselves.


All other security strategies are not essential for these organizations, but they are not effective if there is no awareness.


Employees and even students need to understand and know what cyber risks are in order to create defense mechanisms.


They should know that it is not recommended to connect to public Wi-Fi networks to access systems, that all passwords must have strong combinations, and that unknown message attachments should not be opened.


That is why awareness is so important, because only with training will these people be aware of these risks.


As such, educational institutions must provide regular training to students, educators, and administrative staff on cyber risks.


Everyone needs to know how to identify and report threats, as well as best practices for protecting their devices and personal information.

PhishX as an ally of educational institutions

PhishX is an ecosystem that offers a variety of solutions that help educational institutions protect themselves against cyberattacks.


We bring security, privacy, and compliance knowledge to everyone on any communication channel, anytime, anywhere, and on any device.


This makes it easier for people to buy in and transforms security strategies into something more effective and accessible to everyone. After all, students and educators can have contact with cybersecurity anywhere.


Security Awareness Trainings

PhishX offers customized cybersecurity awareness training, tailored to the specific needs of educational institutions.


We have an extensive library of materials in Portuguese and translation into several other languages. This allows institutions to be able to communicate with everyone.


These trainings educate students, faculty, and staff on digital security best practices, how to identify and report threats, protect sensitive information, and avoid falling for phishing scams.

Phishing simulations

Our platform allows educational institutions to conduct phishing simulations to test the level of digital security maturity among people.


These simulations help identify areas of vulnerability and measure progress over time. With this, institutions can know how many people fell in these tests and understand the real problem.


Simulations help identify attacks and know how to react if these actions actually happen. That way, you prepare people for a real cyber risk scenario.


By exposing people to realistic phishing scenarios, you can strengthen your institution's ability to detect and prevent attacks.

Analysis of Results

On our platform, when performing phishing simulations, your institution is able to collect and analyze the data generated by the simulations. This includes information such as link click-through rates, email opens, and people's response behaviors.


It is also possible to identify how many of them have completed the training, which allows specific actions to be taken. Based on this collected data, PhishX generates graphs and metrics.


This information helps identify the effectiveness of phishing simulations and people's level of awareness of cyber threats.


Based on the information in the charts, our team can recommend specific corrective actions to strengthen the cybersecurity of educational institutions.


Such as implementing additional training, improving security policies, and adopting additional protective measures for areas identified as vulnerable.


PhishX strengthens the cybersecurity of educational institutions by providing specialized training, phishing simulations, and advanced threat detection.


By empowering students, faculty, and staff with the skills and knowledge they need to protect against cyberattacks, we can help create a safer and more secure educational environment.


White woman, holding some leaves, in front of an educational institution, in the background behind her, we see a white man and a woman talking.
Educational institutions need to invest in cybersecurity.

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