Phishing attacks challenging teachers, says Utah ed director

The director of Central Utah Educational Services says his next big technology project isn’t about hooking up new devices or speeding up networks, but helping teachers to be less naïve.

In a video interview with EdScoop, Jason Strate, director of an organization providing educational services for seven school districts in central Utah, said a recent audit has shown phishing emails to be a serious problem for his districts.

“Teachers are trusting people. They care about kids, they want to do the best for them, and they trust people,” Strate said. “And what we found is we had a high return rate.”

The audit showed that 52 percent of teachers fell for phishing emails in a test, as they clicked on links and handed over personal information. Strate said he expects his phishing educational campaign will take about two years before it begins yielding the kinds of audit results he would be satisfied with.

The audit was helpful, he said, because it also showed that his organization had been focused on the wrong kind of cybersecurity training. Instead of talking about passwords, now they’ll talk about more modern forms of cyberattacks.

Strate shares lessons for other edtech leaders:

Strate on cybersecurity: