LITTLE ROCK — With data breaches and cyber attacks on the rise and showing no signs of slowing down, the need to inform and equip education professionals is at an all-time high. To better prepare all staff working in or with K-12 public schools, the Arkansas Department of Education is launching a Security Awareness Campaign.
According to Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, “Cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” (https://ibm.co/2Ew2ofy) This threat cannot be suppressed by technology alone. In its Cyber Security Index, IBM states that human error contributed to more than 95 percent of all investigated security breaches. (https://bit.ly/2OwqNGc)
To help mitigate the potential for human error, ADE is providing online access to security resources and training opportunities to every school and district across the state. The department’s Security Awareness Campaign encourages district leaders to implement four steps: build awareness and leadership support, complete a risk assessment and data inventory, develop an incident response plan and provide continuous quality training. Resources for successfully implementing each step are available on the ADE website.
Security awareness workshops will also be made available upon request for district or school leadership teams. Workshops will guide teams through all four steps, customize resources and develop a local implementation plan. Interested individuals should check with their local education service cooperative technology coordinator to schedule a workshop.
“In order to protect our schools from cyber threats and data breaches, it is important for our education professionals to understand basic security principles,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “ADE’s excellent campaign to teach educators the essentials of information security will minimize human error and reduce the chance of successful cyber attacks on our school districts.”
Recognizing that a successful security awareness program requires access to quality training, ADE has partnered with ArkansasIDEAS to provide all education professionals access to customized Security Mentor training modules. The first module, titled “Introduction to Security Awareness,” is available today on ArkansasIDEAS: http://ideas.aetn.org. Five additional modules involving passwords, phishing scams, email security, wifi security and reporting incidents will be rolled out each month through April.
In addition to the modules, educators also can engage students in the campaign through ADE’s student-friendly videos and posters that complement each security awareness training module. Campaign resources for students can be found within each module on ArkansasIDEAS and on the ADE website.
“We are excited to make these short, interactive training modules available to all Arkansas educators,” said Don Benton, ADE’s assistant commissioner for Research and Technology. “I encourage all educators to complete each module and include students in the conversation. Not only do we have a responsibility to protect student data, we also must give students the tools and information they need to protect their most valuable information.”