Education Cybersecurity Initiatives – The Main Rule Is Not to Overdo

July 16, 2019

Education Cybersecurity Weekly is a curated weekly news overview for those who are concerned about the Education industry and Education data breach. It provides brief summaries and links to articles and news across a spectrum of EdTech. Learn about education cybersecurity initiatives.

Comparitech report: a K-12 Inc. company database, containing personal information for 19,000 students, was available to all internet users for at least a week. Despite good intentions, the government education cybersecurity initiatives sometimes seem very controversial.

In K-12 Inc. data breach personal information of 19,000 was exposed

Education Week on July 11, 2019

The incident is mentioned in the recent Comparitech report: a K-12 Inc. company database, containing personal information for 19,000 students, was available to all internet users for at least a week.

Although it is still unclear, if there were any attempts to access the exposed data with bad intentions, affected parents and students should stay alert, as after their information had been exposed, they became more vulnerable to cyberattacks and may face phishing attempts, different types of fraud, and the increased spam.

Student privacy is vitally important to us at K12. Our security team promptly addressed the issue, and the data is now secure, with technical and process improvements to our software hosting migration to help prevent this situation from occurring again. We are also going above and beyond what is legally required, and proactively contacting all partner districts with connections to these students.

A K-12 Inc. team

Virginia Cyber Range: in teaching cybersecurity “practice makes it perfect”

EdSurge on July 11, 2019

One of the positive tendencies we note, writing weekly digests about education cybersecurity, is the increase of education cybersecurity initiatives among different groups of society. US Cyber Range at Virginia Tech is now one of them.

The curriculum is suitable for anyone interested in cybersecurity – students, teachers, afterschool programs, even employers, intending to train their staff. Furthermore, there is also an opportunity to get hacking skills in the cloud, working with any computer device and a web browser. So far, more than 5,000 people have gone through the program.

David Raymond, the director of the US Cyber Range at Virginia Tech, highlighted that the need to train students with hacking skills and develop education cybersecurity initiatives is impressive: today there are about 30,000 open cybersecurity jobs in Virginia, that means a third of the cybersecurity vacancies in the state.

What is noteworthy, the program is free to Virginia students. Raymond’s team already supports 200 schools, 13 Virginia’s public universities, 20 community colleges and 180 high schools. Thus, practice is guaranteed.

Florida’s student database: a security measure or a “mass surveillance effort”?

EdScoop on July 10, 2019

Despite good intentions, the government education cybersecurity initiatives sometimes seem very controversial.

Last year the Majority Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act was signed into law and a state “centralized integrated data repository” was created. The “repository” is a database, designed to aggregate student data from social media, state and local law enforcement to assess students who pose a risk to school gun violence actions.

It is unsurprising that implementation of this database has caused a stir among civil groups: 32 organizations (including American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Electronic Frontier Foundation) sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, urging it to stop the project, threatening student privacy.

In the letter, bill’s opponents are concerned that the database collects highly sensitive information without evidence-based reasons to include. Answering the letter, law supporters stated, “its bold reforms, including the database, are critical for school safety”, and clarified the types of gathered information.

Whatever kind of information the database includes, we would emphasize the importance of cybersecurity measures to keep the collected data safe, as education cybersecurity initiatives should not have an opposite effect.

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