The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a free cyber security training package for teachers and other school staff, setting out steps to take to help mitigate cyber attacks and drawing on real-life case studies to demonstrate the impact of such incidents.
The resources are the newest addition to a widening package of support measures offered up by the NCSC as schools and universities across the UK reel from a spate of cyber attacks, which began to surge as Covid-19 lockdowns forced the education sector to transition to remote learning, and have not let up even with the return of face-to-face teaching.
Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for economy and society engagement, said: “It’s absolutely vital for schools and their staff to understand their cyber risks and how to better protect themselves online. That’s why we’ve created an accessible, free training package offering practical steps on cyber security to help busy professionals boost their defences.
“By familiarising themselves with this resource, staff can help reduce the chances of children’s vital education being disrupted by cyber criminals,” she said.
Schools minister Nick Gibb added: “It is vital that schools have robust cyber security in place, and these new resources and training will help staff to increase protection from attacks.
“This training will boost support for schools, giving teachers the tools and skills they need to identify possible risks. I would strongly encourage all schools to adopt the resources and all staff to complete the training to make sure data is protected.”
The training package is designed to be accessible by any staff member, regardless of role or level of technical knowledge, and also comes as a scripted presentation. It can be accessed via the NCSC’s website and shines a light on the most dangerous threats schools face, and outlines the impact successful cyber attacks can have.
One of the case studies highlights an incident in which a successful voice phishing – or vishing – attack in which cyber criminals impersonated the Department for Education (DfE) to obtain the email details of the target’s head of finance and headteacher. This…