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ArkansasIDEAS – “Data Security Awareness: Module 6 – Reporting Incidents”

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  • Kayla Fletcher
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School security encompasses all measures taken to combat threats to people and property in educational environments. Data breaches are consistently increasing, and student information becomes easily accessible by hackers. Did I notice suspicious behavior by someone? Is student information being exposed?

The sixth module in the Data Security Awareness course is now available on ArkansasIDEAS. The new course launched on November 1, 2018, and was created in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education’s Security Awareness Campaign. The course is an opportunity for educators to be trained on a variety of security topics that focus on awareness, passwords, phishing, email, public WiFi, and how to recognize and report security incidents.

According to Security Mentor, “How serious an incident is depends not only on what happened, but on the response.” Although security incidents may start small, they can quickly escalate.

To help learn the dangers of security incidents and how to report them, the Security Mentor modules are packed full of interactive lessons, opportunities for educator reflection, and a collection of the Security Awareness Campaign posters to help include students in the conversation.

The sixth module, “Reporting Incidents,” will launch on April 1, 2019, and is the final module in the first Data Security Awareness course. ArkansasIDEAS, the Arkansas Department of Education, and the Security Awareness Campaign plan to launch the remaining modules in a second course beginning October 2019.

Arkansas Department of Education Director of Data Use & Privacy Ray Girdler had the following to share about the launch of the sixth module:

“I remember a time in education when a person might get blank stares if he/she were to ask, “How many bullying incidents were reported at your school or location last year?” We all knew bullying was an issue, but many of us did not know to what extent or frequency bullying was occurring. Schools had to adopt better ways to identify and report bullying before it could be adequately addressed. These days, a question like that wouldn’t surprise any administrator. You might even try a follow-up question, ‘What are you all doing to prevent bullying?’ In this day and age, I believe most building administrators would be ready to respond.

What if we were to change the script? What if I were to ask you, ‘How many data security incidents were reported at your school or location last year?’ Would any of us have a blank stare in response? The parallels are uncanny. Many of us aren’t aware of the severity or frequency data security incidents. Many educators have never been trained on how to identify or report a data security incident. Schools must adopt better ways to identify and report data incidents before they can be adequately addressed. Sounds familiar, I know! Our April campaign is all about preparing educators to identify and report potential data security incidents.

This month concludes our campaign series for 2018-2019. We’ll continue to offer our 6 training modules and support materials through the summer and into next school year. The Security Awareness Campaign was centered around the purpose of, ’Preparing education professionals with best practices to protect their colleagues and students in a digital world.’ Our hope and mission is that by actively participating in the campaign you would know exactly how to respond if anyone were ever to ask, ‘What are you doing to prevent data security incidents?’ Be sure to come back and check out our six new data security training modules next school year on ArkansasIDEAS as we continue to grow and learn!”

“Data Security Awareness: Security Mentor Modules 1–6” is available through ArkansasIDEAS at All six modules are now currently available. A second course with additional modules is planned for release in October 2019.