The Education industry has perhaps experienced more disruption than any other during the pandemic. Governments have poured money into schools over the past two years to support the continued education of students. 

This effort, however, has been delivered with several gaps. The data collected from the inaugural Endpoint Ecosystem Study centers on Endpoint Security and Employee Experience. The study helps us identify what schools have been doing right and wrong in a post-pandemic world. 

A great deal of the findings reported are surprising, but the insights derived from the study are ostensibly actionable. By leveraging the data, administrators in Education can gain a greater understanding of why their schools are vulnerable to being hacked and why employees are resigning. In turn, they can begin to develop a plan to minimize security vulnerabilities while retaining and attracting talent.   

Security Awareness 

One of the key insights derived from the study is that security awareness is lacking badly in the Education industry. The reality is that schools are not immune to cyber-attack, and many are currently flush with cash and therefore a target for cyber criminals.  

The data from the study suggest that 21% of educators see a security policy less than once a year, and 42% of educators are receiving security training once a year or less. This gap in security education is particularly concerning considering that there has been a 500% rise in cybercrime since the pandemic began.  

To avoid a breach, schools need to treat security as a primary objective of IT in the coming year.  

Experiential Differences in Remote vs. Non-Remote 

Another interesting finding from the Endpoint Ecosystem study is that schools have not yet reached parity for remote vs. non-remote employees. In fact, 46% of remote educators say their school’s security policies restrict the way they work vs 32% of non-remote educators. This disparity is significant and suggests that more needs to be done to bridge the gap in employee experience between remote and non-remote educators. The time for band-aid solutions is long past.  

The Underfunding of IT Departments 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, technology departments in schools are underfunded. This conclusion is derived from the study’s data that shows a significant delay in ticket resolution compared to other industries. Additionally, the issue of shadow IT is pervasive in Education. 54% of educators are using Google searches to resolve their technical issues in lieu of turning to their IT department. This is the highest of all industries surveyed (Finance, Education, Government, Healthcare). 

The reality is that schools’ budgets are due for major adjustments.  Schools also need to get serious about supporting and empowering their student population as well as the teachers and staff who serve those students. 


What can be done? 

To begin fostering a stronger Endpoint Ecosystem in Education, leaders must adopt best practice security measures. Championing ongoing security awareness training and increasing the frequency at which security and privacy policies are presented are low hanging fruit. Employee experience can be significantly improved through utilizing modern work technologies, such as Zero Touch Provisioning, Over-the-Air updates and Password-less Authentication. The less time Educators spend seeking answers to their technology problems, the more attention they can devote to teaching students.  

To learn more about how educators view their Endpoint Ecosystem, we invite you to download the Endpoint Ecosystem for Education study in full. Armed with the data from the study, our hope is that schools and universities can identity how to improve endpoint security and employee experience for their industry.