Organizations are now using the internet and internet-based services to communicate, interact, and perform regular duties and functions as a result of the recent boom in the use of digital technology. The adoption of technology in the field of education has undergone a significant transition, highlighting its potential advantages. The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reported that approximately one in three organisations now encounter breaches or attacks at least once every week as a result of increased digitalization.

It is crucial that protection is built into the design and continued usage of digital technology in education, especially in light of Ofqual’s corporate objectives for 2022–2025 to concentrate on the increased use of technology in assessments. Because they recognise that cyberattacks may occur and that organisations need to be ready, the regulator released updated cyber security recommendations for awarding organisations last month.

It is vital that centres check their cyber security, especially before exam season because a successful cyber-attack could jeopardise assessment integrity and security or even interrupt exams and assessments.

These are four fundamental procedures to safeguard assessment organisations from an attack:

Make sure your passwords are strong and original.

Passwords for email accounts are particularly crucial in this case. Let’s say a cybercriminal gains access to a company email account. In such situation, they may be able to access private data and possibly additional accounts, including your digital assessment portal.

The National Cyber Security Centre of the UK advises that you make sure your staff members avoid using predictable passwords and that you think about offering a secure password storage facility to encourage people to use totally unique passwords for all of their accounts.

Whenever you can, use two-step verification.

By enabling multi-factor authentication, you should try to secure all of your organization’s crucial accounts, such as your email accounts and digital assessment platform. Even if they manage to guess your passwords—which is easy and far more common than you think—even if they are strong and unique, this will help keep cybercriminals out of your assessment systems and accounts.

Keep your software updated

By keeping your organization’s software and apps as current as possible, you are also improving your defence against new viruses and malware, contributing to the security of sensitive information related to your assessments.

Don’t disregard those update prompts, as frustrating as they can be at times!

Always make a backup of your most crucial data.

To ensure you can recover data and information if they were to be deleted from your devices as a result of a security breach, you need to stay one step ahead of cyber risks, especially when discussing exam papers or assessment results. You can feel secure knowing that you can still access exam questions, scripts, and even data from results if you use cloud-based backups.

Best practises for cyber security implementation must be used.

By implementing these suggestions, you will strengthen your organization’s ability to defend your online infrastructure and digital assessment platforms in the event that they become the target of a cyber-attack.

As digital assessment is increasingly frequently used, a wealth of new skills and advantages will become available, but this also means that cybersecurity risks must be constantly monitored.