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Coronavirus Remote Learning Brings Cybersecurity Challenges

As many workers have been doing their jobs remotely to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, students too have been attempting to do their learning from home.

work from home 4987741 640smallWhile cybersecurity watchers have been sounding the alarm for weeks now about the risks of remote work, some are now also calling attention to the unique challenges of e-learning.

Bernie Acre, chief information officer for the city of Bryan, Texas, recommends not having children use a work computer, as KBTX reports. The kids, he reasons, run a bigger risk of potentially infecting the computer by clicking on malicious sites. “Make sure those computers are being used in a public area in the home,” Acre suggests. “Do not let them go into another room and connect to the WiFi because who knows what kids will end up getting themselves into by accident.”

Acre recommends further securing the data on a family’s computers and phones by setting up separate networks for each member, possibly even a guest network. For remote workers or remote students alike, Acre emphasises the importance of keeping software completely up to date to keep out hackers.

Kansas City, Missouri’s school system has ramped up its security precautions, reports EdTech Magazine. Joe Phillips, director of technology for Kansas City Public Schools, says the district has implemented endpoint threat detection on all of its devices, among other network security solutions, to get ready for remote education. The onus, as always, is on employees—teachers and staff—to maintain good cybersecurity practices to safeguard confidential information.

Beyond children, the prevalence of remote cybersecurity training during the COVID-19 health crisis could reshape how workers learn overall, driving a rise in e-learning, reports FedScoop.

“The discussions I’m hearing at the moment are less about the training needs and more about how the entire learning ecosystem could be fundamentally changed,” says Rodney Petersen, director of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. “And cybersecurity could become the pilot for how that is implemented and rethought in this current environment.”

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