Safeguarding the Cyber Resilience of the ‘Digital Classroom’

//Safeguarding the Cyber Resilience of the ‘Digital Classroom’

Safeguarding the Cyber Resilience of the ‘Digital Classroom’

Safeguarding the Cyber Resilience of the ‘Digital Classroom’

Cyber Resilience of the ‘Digital Classroom’ guest post by Colin Gaughan. Colin is a Data Protection Specialist at Dell Technologies 

Over the last two years, we have seen a marked change in how students and teachers have embraced technology within our education system. Although ICT (information and communications technologies) in education had been a growing focus of Government and those within the education sector, the events of recent times have greatly accelerated this transition and opened up a whole new range of possibilities for the ‘digital classroom’.

Technology in the classroom

Today, over two years into what has been an unprecedented few months, teachers and students are through the steep learning curve that accompanied the sudden widespread integration of technology within education. At Dell Technologies, we were pleased to be able to support the sector during those difficult early few months by teaming up with HEAnet, Ireland’s national education and research network, to deliver 16,700 Dell laptops to students throughout Ireland. Now, as we emerge from the pandemic, educators are in a better position of being able to reflect on the gains that technology has brought while keeping one eye on the future of the digital classroom.

Already, we are seeing the long-term impact of educators embracing technology in the number of schools and third-level institutions that are modelling what has become known as ‘blended learning’. For example, despite the full lifting of public health restrictions earlier this year, many third-level institutions are continuing to conduct seminars online with recorded lectures also available for those unable to attend in person.

Meanwhile, Government is clearly set on building on the progress of the last two years with the publication of the Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027, a strategy that will advance the use of digital technologies across teaching, learning and assessment, helping to create more resilient, accessible and interactive learning systems that bring complex educational topics to life, appeal to different learning styles and help boost research and innovation within the classroom.

The importance of cyber-resilience

However, as we embrace this exciting new era of technology in the classroom, it’s vital that we keep cyber resilience at the heart of efforts to accelerate the digital transformation of our education system. Cyberattacks occur every 11 seconds and cost the Irish economy €9.6 billion in 2020 alone. That’s why, with greater use of technology leading to an increased dependence on data, cyberattacks can be catastrophic for virtually connected classrooms around the country.

A recent survey undertaken by the Executive Institute on behalf of Dell Technologies lays out the scope of the challenge. While a vast majority of businesses surveyed (91%) took steps to enhance data protection in the past 12 months, 69% of leaders believe that hybrid or ‘blended’ working arrangements will increase the chances of a cyberattack or incident. Meanwhile, a majority (57%) say they don’t know how to react in the event of a ransomware attack.

Thankfully, just as cyber threats are always evolving, so too are cyber technologies and cyber strategies always advancing to keep pace with cybercriminals.

By harnessing the latest in cyber-protection technology solutions, the education sector can increase its chances of warding off or recovering quickly from a potential cyber-attack that could target one of our most prized assets – student data.

One recent innovation from Dell Technologies in this space comes in the form of the cyber vault. A cyber vault delivers a fast, easy-to-deploy public cloud vault that moves critical data away from the attack and isolates it within a secure, automated operational air gap. Harnessing a vault solution can be a building block for cyber resilience in this critical era of digital transformation to make the transition to the digital classroom a success and maintain trust in the process.

Safeguarding the Cyber Resilience of the ‘Digital Classroom’

Next generation of cyber security leaders

As we move into this new era of technology within the classroom, it’s important not only that technology is harnessed to enhance cyber security within education, but that emphasis is placed that upon the development of cyber security skills within the classroom.

That’s why it’s encouraging to see an action in Ireland’s latest National Cyber Security Strategy to support the development of a Junior Cycle short course in cyber security. By including cyber security education in second level, we can develop greater awareness around the importance of cyber security within education while fostering the next generation of cyber security leaders.

Keeping cyber at the heart of our digital classroom

As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the digital classroom will be critical to enhancing methods of learning, while equipping our young people with the digital skills needed to participate in the digital economy. Gen Z, the generation born between 1997 and 2012, are today’s students, many of whom are already tech natives who are used to working online. The Gen Z students entering second-level education in the next few years will increasingly demand greater digitalisation of educational curriculums and the infrastructure underpinning education systems must reflect this.

However, in realising the true potential of the digital classroom, we must seize the opportunities of our data-driven era not only by preparing for innovative technologies, but also by confronting the rising threats of cyber and ransomware attacks head-on.

At Dell Technologies, our team of cyber experts are supporting organisations across the education sector to enhance their cyber resilience and ensure that they have recovery capabilities in the event of a cyber incident.

By securing our ‘digital classroom’ with first-class cyber security strategies, we can create a truly resilient and innovative education system that facilitates new ways of learning while meeting the current and future needs of our student population.

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By | 2022-06-09T16:00:25+00:00 June 9th, 2022|Technology|Comments Off on Safeguarding the Cyber Resilience of the ‘Digital Classroom’