Students have just returned to classrooms all over the United States in what will now be the third academic year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact on the education ecosystem unfolded in front of our eyes, with emergency purchases of devices for students to attend school remotely, tools for efficient teaching by remote educators, expanded use of applications for conferencing and collaboration, broadband and internet growth and access for the users and the data centers to support digital connectivity, and even security to protect availability to the applications and services.
As students and teachers largely return to classrooms this year with remote-learning technology already in place should it be required, several challenges of the last 18 months no longer exist. However, two issues now take priority: performance problems and security threats.
As a recent from the Center for Digital Education reports, security threats on educational systems have increased dramatically throughout the same period. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, by either disruptive students or threat actors, require vigilant, sophisticated detection and remediation.
Simultaneously, the latest shift in network and application utilization caused by users accessing school district data centers, local application services, and cloud-based applications and collaboration tools will impact performance. Monitoring and understanding these new traffic patterns will help the IT staff for these educational institutions troubleshoot problems quickly, while also better managing bandwidth and associated budgets.
Recent federal legislation has made procuring and implementing these security and performance solutions more accessible, and the Center for Digital Education has provided an overview of how to take advantage of these resources.