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Top 3 Ways to Protect Your Students Online

Cyber Threats for Teachers

As a teacher, staying informed and learning the best practices to protect yourself and your students is always the best first step to take in cybersecurity. Below are the top five cybersecurity threats faced by teachers, as outlined in a report by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

  1. Phishing: These attacks leverage social engineering by exploiting human emotion to trick victims into giving up sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details. Over 90% of cyberattacks today start with phishing, according to CoSN.
  2. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS): These attacks occur when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of the local servers. These attacks can cost victims up to $40,000 per hour, while typically only costing around $40 for cyber attackers to engineer.
  3. Data Breach: A data breach is a security incident in which private or sensitive information (such as student data) is accessed without authorization. In fact, student and educator data breaches were one of the most common cyber incidents experienced in 2019.
  4. Ransomware: These threats involve hackers holding data hostage in exchange for money or other demands. According to a report from the cybersecurity firm Emisof, the potential cost of ransomware in the United States reached over $7.5 billion in 2019.
  5. IoT Vulnerabilities: IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as laptops, smart home accessories and tablets often lack security or are not updated on a regular basis, making it vital for teachers to prioritize security when incorporating IoT devices into the classroom.

Distance Learning: What are the Cybersecurity Risks?

Girl at computer distance learning online skype teaching classDistance learning is new and for many students and staff, it may be scary. However, practicing cyber hygiene and developing a district-specific framework will go a long way in minimizing the threat surface.
 
Parent and child using a tablet and laptop on a table

Resources

Computers and the internet are tremendous tools for educators and students, and have significantly increased learning opportunities for students throughout Idaho. The tools and resources highlighted on this site are some of the best in the nation. We encourage you to incorporate these resources into your teaching experience.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity Education Training Assistance Program (CETAP) equips K-12 teachers with cybersecurity curricula and education tools. Through the CETAP grant, Cyber.org, Bossier City, Louisiana, develops and distributes free cybersecurity, STEM, and computer science curricula to K-12 educators across the country. The curricula comprises the Cyber Interstate – a robust library of cyber-based curricula that provides opportunities for students to become aware of cyber issues, engage in cybersecurity education, and enter cybersecurity career fields. These programs focus on growing and educating the next generation cyber-literate workforce.

https://niccs.cisa.gov/formal-education/integrating-cybersecurity-classroom

Cybersecurity is a critical and rapidly growing field in which the demand for jobs is increasingly outpacing the supply of qualified employees. K-12 education has a key role in addressing this shortage both by raising awareness and interest in cybersecurity and by providing students with the fundamental knowledge they need in order to pursue cybersecurity career pathways.

CYBER.ORG empowers educators to teach cyber confidently, resulting in students with the skills and passion needed to succeed in the cyber workforce.

As more high school teachers integrate cybersecurity into their classrooms, the need for coherent High School Cybersecurity Curriculum Guidelines becomes more pressing. Curriculum guidelines set the parameters, directions, and standards for curriculum policy and practice. They are a means of organizing and managing content (policies, procedures, concepts and so on) in a systematic way.

Curriculum Guidelines

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) launched the 2021 Back to School campaign to bring awareness of the dangers of phishing and ransomware in K-12 and academia settings, and to share cybersecurity best practices.

https://www.cisa.gov/blog/2021/08/09/back-school-campaign

While online learning provides so many positive opportunities for learners and teachers alike, it is more important than ever to strengthen cybersecurity defenses to deal with new and emerging attacks. This article is designed to help provide teachers, parents and students with the information they need to identify common cyber threats, as well as tips on cybersecurity best practices to help you safely ease into the new school year.

https://bootcamp.berkeley.edu/blog/cybersecurity-in-education-what-teachers-parents-and-students-should-know/#cybersecurity-in-the-classroom

The Annual NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference, supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), and hosted by iKeepSafe, brings together K12 educators and those interested in cybersecurity education for today’s K12 youth in support of growing the cybersecurity workforce of the future. 

https://www.nist.gov/itl/applied-cybersecurity/nice/events/nice-k12-cybersecurity-education-conference

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