There are many benefits to investing in IT professionals in the education industry. With the recent challenges the pandemic has brought and many schools pivoting to online learning, investing in educational IT infrastructure is more important now than ever.
Whether schools are looking to utilize technology in their educational offerings, or they are hoping to improve their cybersecurity, a reliable IT department can significantly improve their functionality.
IT Areas to Prioritize
According to Parallels, there are four areas in which schools should prioritize their IT needs. Schools need to provide both students and teachers equal access to education resources from any device, any location and at any time. Schools must also deliver a consistent user experience to make the process intuitive and avoid disruption.
Schools should also make sure they have the infrastructure to support the increase in network traffic brought on by videoconferencing, streaming and other online applications. The infrastructure needed is such that sites have extended wireless bandwidth, and access to back up internet.
It’s also vital that schools make sure their data is safe. Cybersecurity is necessary, not suggested. The education industry must ensure that all data, from user identity information to internal and external access, is protected. This means that schools must have excellent firewalls built into both their hardware and software. Cybersecurity in schools should also entail continuing education for their students and staff. Teachers should know how to spot phishing emails, or other tricks that hackers use.
A reliable team of IT professionals can bridge the gap between on-site and off-site learning. For example, a virtual desktop infrastructure is a valuable tool that can centralize access to tools and resources, allowing students, administrators and staff to use any device, such as phones, tablets and computers. VDIs are critical as they allow users to access their desktop, or a preselected desktop, using any device allowing them to work from anywhere.
Why Cybersecurity is Important
The education industry is, unfortunately, a prime target for cybercrime. According to SwivelSecure, education services are most often subject to DDoS attacks and data theft. Whether hackers target education services for financial gain or espionage, educational services must determine the best way to safeguard their data and systems.
The top cybersecurity threats facing the education industry are phishing scams, ransomware and malware and lack of awareness amongst users.
According to SwilveSecure, phishing scams can take many forms, from emails to instant messages. They are intended to fool the user into trusting the source and divulging sensitive data.
Ransomware and malware attacks prevent users from accessing the network or files, while more advanced forms are used so hackers can hold files for ransom. Ransomware and malware typically infect devices through a file or attachment disguised to fool the user into believing it is legitimate.
Lastly, lack of awareness or accidents is another leading cybersecurity risk, which is why cybersecurity awareness training is important. Educating faculty and students on cyber hygiene minimizes threats involving human interaction.
The best way to implement and improve cybersecurity is proper education for staff and students. There are several ways to train staff for cybersecurity awareness. One tool is software like KnowBe4, an application that allows for large institutions to train their employees. They offer tools like simulated phishing emails to better train staff on what to look for when they may be getting scammed, or worse, allowing hackers into your school.
The Benefits of Technology in Education
Having a team of reliable IT professionals enables schools and education services to utilize technology to further their efforts. Technology streamlines access to valuable educational resources. With such easy access to countless resources, students and educators can choose to tailor fit their education to their specific needs.
Access to the internet also allows students to learn new skills and broaden their knowledge through online programs that otherwise might not be available on campus. Virtual learning also provides students with the opportunity to continue their studies in a safe space or while schools are closed.
Utilizing technology in education allows students to expand their technological literacy, teaching them valuable lifelong skills. It can also be a fun way to implement more creative and engaging learning experiences, whether it is through video or interactive applications.
IT departments not only ensure educational equity by guaranteeing reliable access to education services and data but also improve the overall quality of education. You need a trustworthy group of IT professionals on your side, like TAG Solutions. Partnering with us will allow your school to reap the benefits of implementing technology in education while minimizing disruptions. IT professionals fill a major gap in many schools from troubleshooting technology to cybersecurity.
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