EdTech in the Post-Pandemic World: Analysing Significance, Funding Crunch and Cybersecurity Risks

E-learning initiatives have gained popularity among educators making the teaching-learning process convenient and cost-efficient in the post-pandemic world. Recently released report by Grant Thornton Bharat analyses Significance, Funding Crunch and Cybersecurity Risks of EdTech Sector and What lies ahead for it.

Although Technology was used in the education sector before the COVID-19 pandemic, the extensive use of education related tools became a necessity to conduct classes over the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Educational institutions across the country took up various tools to make clases for students more interactive and primarily increase the attention span of students during online class hours and make it more interesting and interactive.

A report on Technology and Cyber Trends in the Indian Education Sector published by Grant Thornton Bharat focuses on the extensive and emerging use of Ed-Tech in today's teaching-learning scenario and the trends and the potential threat the cyberworld holds to children and educational institutions.

Pandemic boost to EdTech Sector

E-learning initiatives have gained popularity among educators making the teaching-learning process convenient and cost-efficient. There is a boost in the growth of EdTech during the pandemic especially because it is effective, efficient, fast and convenient. By adopting Cloud Technology online education will be made more realistic with the help of metaverse involving AR and VR concepts.

Current Trends

With the COVID-19 pandemic spanning over 2 years a shift has occurred in the traditional mode of learning with many Indian EdTech companies entering the market providing customers with online learning tools leading to a sizable growth in the user number. This increase has led to a rise in the deals in this sector in the last two years coming close to USD 11.7 Billion.

The increase in deals in 2021 was due to the onset of COVID-19 and the sudden shift to online education which saw the highest number of Ed-Tech companies being funded and big Ed-Tech companies acquiring to leverage the online offers entering the hybrid mode and overseas expansions, 

Challenge of Cybersecurity

The advent of technology has opened up various avenues to exploit the faults in devices and unsecure networks used in the education sector. Institutions have a lot of sensitive information including personal information, academic records, research data, financial records, etc which is usually on the radar for Cyber Criminals.

Educational institutions hence need to keep themselves protected of Cyber Crime which can be both internal and external. There are a few methods of attacks which institutions commonly face which include Phishing which is when e-mails and websites appearing as genuine from a well-known source designed to trick the user into divulging sensitive information or providing access to infiltrate the system with malicious software or malware and Ransomware in which cyber criminals threaten to publish the victim’s personal data in the public domain or encrypt them permanently until a ransom is paid.

Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (D-DoS) attacks are when there is an intentional disruption and widespread unavailability of services by penetrating the institution’s weak IT systems.

The Way Ahead

Although technology is helping the upcoming generation by provisioning immediate access to information, educational institutions and teachers in general need to make sure that the information provided and the medium through which it is provided is safe for the students. Educational institutions need to make the students aware of potential threats and give them the idea of how to filter the good from the bad when online.

Cyber awareness has been redefined over the years with the help of research in the area. Children can be equipped to defend themselves against possible cyber threats while teachers can also be trained to promote critical understanding rather than restrictive approaches to cyber safety. Instilling cyber security awareness is the need of the hour and a top priority to safeguard national security.

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