Raise Security Protection to A+ for Remote Learning On Mobile Chromebooks
By Philip Mustain, Mobolize | CEO and Co-Founder
Education in the era of Covid-19 has changed dramatically. Remote or distance learning is how many students in the world are learning now. Today’s distance learning requires an internet connection and connected device, which is often a mobile device on a Wi-Fi connection at home.
According to the World Economic Forum, the pandemic has resulted in schools shut across the world and 1.2 billion children in 186 countries are out of the classroom. Oakland, California, is just a microcosm for the world’s need to use mobile devices for distance learning.
According to Sailaja Suresh, Senior Director, School Operations, Oakland Unified School District, even the younger students want to use tablets.
“We loaned 18,000 Chromebook tablets to students this new school year and 16,000 in spring when we moved initially to distance learning,” said Suresh. “Even the little ones want to use mobile devices.”
Those numbers have led to a security issue for school districts and families using mobile devices and the internet for education. According to the Washington Post, “security breaches with online learning are not uncommon.”
The highest-level solution to protecting schools and students while on the internet for remote learning using mobile devices is DNS (Domaine Name System) filters. DNS protection is available for enterprise computers that are connected to a DNS cloud-based solution, but it is not widely available for Chromebooks and tablets – typically a school’s mobile device choice.
Schools often feel well protected by using traditional security systems supplied by school districts. While these are often great services, they cannot provide the highest level of internet security protection, which is DNS, while students are off the school’s network and/or browsing or using other applications.
What makes DNS protection better for schools? DNS acts as an online phone book because it takes the Internet Protocol (IT) address used by every communication on the internet and translates it into an easily readable domain name. But if left unprotected, it’s an entry door for cybercriminals who can create false DNS records and fool students and teachers (or anyone) into visiting fake websites and downloading malware. That can result in malicious attempts to DNS hijacking, cache poisoning, man-in-the-middle attacks and more. Which means that the home schooler inadvertently creates an open door to personal and family data that can be used to hijack systems and information.
DNS protection for mobile devices can be the buffer to block compromised sites and known botnet servers, limit exposure to online threats and more.
The Mobolize on-device Data Management Engine is the A+ player for DNS security. Our engine is designed to be an app that can work on Chromebooks and, unlike other mobile security solutions, our SmartVPN® technology inherent in our Engine uniquely resides deep in the layers of the mobile device network stack. There it can analyze all Wi-Fi and cellular traffic including IP addresses and responses.
This ability allows our partners to bring their DNS services to schools and organizations for distance learning security. Now Chromebooks, as well as smartphones and tablets, can have the highest level of internet protection against threats on mobile devices for both the school and administration, plus the student’s family.
Mobolize’s DNS mobile device protection is already provided to all Canadians by CIRA Canadian Shieldoffered by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), in partnership with Akamai. This is a free DNS protection service that provides personalized online privacy and security to individuals and families across Canada.
We will soon be announcing a partner who will be providing DNS security to enterprises globally including schools this school year (and beyond). Our Data Management Engine helps our partners extend and enhance their offerings so they can earn an A+ in mobile device protection.
Technology in education has been growing in importance, but with the emphasis on distance learning to keep our teachers, administrators and students safe from the coronavirus, technology solutions for education is now paramount. But just like those teaching and learning, their mobile devices must be safe too. A+ safe.
From those younger students excited about working on a Chromebook to the Class of 2021, this will be the school year unlike any other. Let’s keep the world’s school districts and students safe and focused on learning with the help of A+ DNS protection.