To assist with the rollout of mandatory two-factor authentication (2fa) for Compass users at secondary schools in Victoria, a number of principals, technicians, IT managers and Compass sponsors at schools with 2fa currently enabled were contacted to offer feedback on the use of 2fa within their school community.
To begin with an unsurprising result, 90.91% of respondents considered cybersecurity ‘extremely important’ within their school community, with only one respondent saying it was ‘very important’. This result is slightly higher than the perception of cybersecurity in general, which 81.82% of respondents considered ‘extremely important’ and the remainder found to be ‘very important’. It will not be surprising that in both cases, none of those asked considered cybersecurity ‘somewhat important’, ‘not so important’, or ‘not at all important’, however it is interesting to note that this suggests a trend towards seeing cybersecurity as especially important within the education sector.
Most of our respondents were at least ‘somewhat familiar’ with 2fa prior to its introduction at their school. The rest were either ‘very familiar’ or ‘extremely familiar’, however it appears that this was not the case across their schools in general. Nevertheless, this made enabling it highly valuable as a means of educating staff about data security:
“Highlighting the importance of the data that is contained in Compass. Highlighting our shared responsibility of respecting and protecting the data we have access to. Exposing all staff to modern security practices.”
Despite these minor difficulties, however, five respondents felt that 2fa had served to make their school’s Compass accounts ‘a great deal’ more secure, and two respondents felt it had made their accounts ‘a lot’ more secure. The remainder suggested it provided a ‘moderate’ amount of security. Positive comments included:
“Increased Security and Peace of Mind”
“Another security layer. Reminder to staff to be conscious of security with compass.”
The latter comment suggesting, once again, that aside from adding an additional layer of security for staff, the introduction of 2fa to Compass in their school lead staff to take cybersecurity more seriously, particularly as it pertained to data stored within Compass. Generally, just a majority of respondents did not find the process either difficult or easy, many felt that once enabled 2fa provided a ‘background’ sense of security - one that they knew existed, but did not intrude on their day-to-day activity.
Finally, subjects were asked whether they would support mandatory 2fa for all schools using Compass in Victoria, with 63.36% of respondents saying they would ‘very strongly’ support this move. As one respondent put it:
"It's great to hear that Compass are being proactive and making 2fa mandatory for all schools. We are happy to be part of the conversation."