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Get started with a smarter and more secure solution to your cybersecurity at your school with the help of Network Outsource and Microsoft Education services.
As we move into the new school year it is time to focus on security for our schools and students. Yet cybersecurity incidents are devastating school systems nationwide. Education Week reported that there were 122 reported security breaches last year alone. Students are even hacking into school districts. Education Week noted one account went on for years undetected. Take Pearson, the self-proclaimed “world’s learning company,” that was recently involved in a security breach. This security risk affected more than 13,000 educational institutions around the globe. The results are causing students to have their private data breached and taken without a clear understanding of how it might be used.
Pearson provides textbooks and eTextbooks to students in all grades K to 12. These eTextbooks are digital textbooks in the humanities, social sciences, math, and science, as well as vocational textbooks. Tens of thousands of schools across the nation depend on Pearson and the digital books for student learning. The latest security breach with Pearson involved popular student textbooks accessible through the company’s digital platform. Students with accounts connected to these digital textbooks were recently involved in a huge breach of security involving personal data.
The British-owned education service breach shows the serious and widespread impact of this type of cybercrime worldwide. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, more than 13,000 educational institutions including elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools were adversely affected. The types of data that was compromised included:
Not all schools were affected at the same rate depending on how many students used Pearson products per institution. The primary factor was utilizing Pearson products. The cyber breach took place sometime around November 2018. However, data was only released in August 2019 by Pearson as made available by the FBI following an investigation regarding who and what was affected.
According to Pearson, the data does not contain financial information or social security numbers. Pearson does not know if any of the data was misused. But the company has promised to pay for and provide credit monitoring for educational institutions, which is a costly solution to this widescale incident. Fortunately, this way schools will have some way to assist protect students affected in this security breach.
If you are working to protect your student consider an alternative available by Microsoft technologies. Here at Network Outsource, we offer access to the latest in education technology as consultants in this sector. This includes Microsoft Education, which has a multitude of resources that you can use in your classroom, school, or educational institute. These include:
The Windows 10 platform features Sway, a secure digital storytelling creator that incorporates high-quality graphics, video, and text. In addition, OneNote offers students safe online collaboration spaces. This is a great way to promote communication and learning outside of the classroom while remaining within the secure network of Microsoft. Teachers and educators will appreciate the Microsoft Teams solution for creating online classrooms. Students and instructors can chat and share files within the Office 365 Education platform.
Microsoft has been invested $1 billion into the research and development—annually—on security for this cloud-based IT solution. The company also follows the Zero Trust model for handling corporate resources to ensure the tightest security measures possible. Why is this such a big issue? You are mandated by state and federal regulations to protect the safety and security of your student and staff populations. When providing the latest technology in the classroom, such as Microsoft Education services, the security that comes with the service provider should be at the top of your priorities.
If you are ready to transform your educational institute to offer a more secure and efficient suite of software for classrooms and students, then let us assist you. Here at Network Outsource, we specialize in K-12 education and information technology. Based in New York, we have locations and service areas in New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Also serving New England and the Mid-Atlantic States, we work with customers in New Jersey and Connecticut, and specifically in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.
We work with some of the busiest school districts when it comes to security in education. Choose our solutions for your outsourced network and IT support today by calling 516-207-1839.