Balancing privacy and security in education: Jamf webinar

This webinar for school Apple administrators shows innovative ways of maintaining school security standards without putting student data or privacy at risk.

June 5 2024 by

Haddayr Copley-Woods

Security issues in EDU: Spam, Phishing Malware Cryptojacking

What issues with security in education mean for your institution

The ever-emerging cybersecurity risks across all industries affect security in education disproportionally. Educational institutions are, unfortunately, often seen as an easier target than most due to perceptions that educational institutions have fewer protections in place.

The data that most schools house can be very lucrative, as they include:

  • Student records, including information about health and learning issues
  • Personal address, phone and other private details
  • Financial data, including credit card numbers

If there is no one to stop them, bad actors can disrupt education by compromising the confidentiality and integrity of that data, potentially leading to unauthorized access to student records. They can disrupt financial systems and even force schools to pay high ransoms to get data back.

Schools can also lose a great deal of instructional time when they can't access digital resources, their Learning Management Systems or their student records.

Such breaches can not only harm individual students, parents and teachers — they can harm the reputation of your school or district. This can negatively impact student enrollment and recruitment for years after a breach.

Due to this one-two punch and the devastating consequences of a breach, schools must ensure that cybercriminals walk away, disappointed by their inability to break in.

During this webinar Mat Pullen, Senior Product Manager - Education at Jamf, explains some of the most common security issues in education in detail:

  • Phishing
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Cryptojacking

How schools can protect against attacks

Pullen also outlines the most robust security measures schools can take proactively to prevent attacks— and how to responsively shut down and remedy an attack as quickly as possible if it gets past safeguards.

This includes raising cybersecurity awareness among students and staff as well as finding the best endpoint security and remediation systems available to schools.

Content filtering

Pullen also discusses student online safety and providing a secure learning environment for students.

Many educational oversight institutions and individual schools mandate the use of filters to block content not suitable for young people; there are multiple ways to approach this that allow both for safety and intellectual curiosity. Each can offer lessons on how to be a good digital citizen.

The best content filtering systems have carefully researched and updated categories of content not appropriate for children, but allow for explorations somewhat outside of a specific assignment for students who want to dig deeper.

The impact of privacy and monitoring on student progress

While this level of risk can tempt schools to go for a ‘Big Brother’ surveillance approach to student internet and app use, Pullen points out some of the impacts that invasion of privacy can have on students, such as:

  • Eroding trust between students and the school
  • Undermining critical thinking skills
  • Creating a fear of technology among students

Research has shown that however well-intended constant surveillance of internet use is, the unintended consequences of over-monitoring can have devastating consequences for student mental health and safety— especially for specific groups such as LGBTQIA students.

Maximizing your tech for maximum safety

Native technologies offered by Apple, explains Pullen, make use of the network extension framework available in Mac OS and iOS. Jamf connects with these already-existing protections with on-device content filtering and more, including:

  • Making solutions user-friendly
  • Enforcing compliance
  • Network threat protection
  • Safeguarding students while at home
  • Including parents in cybersecurity

Watch the 23-minute webinar in full to discover more details and techniques.

Learn more about security in education.