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Best practises for safe and secure remote learning

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Ever since the coronavirus pandemic took the world by surprise, Remote education like Remote working has become a crucial part of our lives. With lockdown in place, imparting education became a challenge and both schools and the students had to switch to virtual classrooms irrespective of their choice.

As everything is slowly returning to normalcy, schools do realise that remote education is here to stay. While no one was prepared for this adverse situation and educational institutions, unlike offices, were the ones that bore maximum brunt.

Like any other business that has an online presence and in conducting sessions remotely, educational institutes are highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and following the below listed best practices will help them mitigate the chances of any untoward incidents:

Training: Making both the teachers and students aware of the do’s and don’ts in an as detailed manner as possible help. They not only need to be trained on the tools that would be used but also need to be made aware of the best practices to be followed for online communication.

Training students on the basics of cybersecurity, phishing, online ethics and other online scams goes a long way in ensuring that threats are minimised. If the professors and students are using their personal computers then it is the right time to educate them about the importance of using authorised software.

Pre-defined SaaS tools: Institutes should have a list of pre-approved SaaS products that can be used during the online sessions. Using any random tool to conduct remote classes will not only jeopardise security but also may cause a threat to data privacy.

A predefined approval process to procure a new tool and a list of the unapproved or blacklisted product also helps in reducing shrinkages.

IT Infrastructure: Schools or institutions should invest in enterprise-grade malware protection systems and should deploy an enterprise-grade firewall. This helps reduce the threat of malware like ransomware etc. A robust firewall in place will guard the cyberinfrastructure 24/7 and will not only block external threats but also blocks any infection from spreading further within the network. Timely audits of these tools also allow the IT team to assess various online threats and stay prepared for any incident.

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