Cybersecurity challenges in schools: the example of Ried im Innkreis

An IKARUS success story.

Cybersecurity challenges in schools: the example of Ried im Innkreis

As the district capital, Ried im Innkreis is home to several schools with different educational backgrounds, including the primary school 2 in Waldmüllerstrasse, the polytechnic school Ried im Innkreis and the secondary school 2 in Peter-Rosegger-Strasse. These three educational institutions have one thing in common: they use IKARUS anti.virus to protect their servers and Windows workstations against malware.

Christoph Pichler

IT and IT security issues are coordinated by Christoph Pichler (Dipl. Päd., IT custodian), who is responsible for 150 end devices and 600 users. “The biggest challenge in the school environment are the students’ passwords,” says Christoph Pichler. Many students are still unaware of the potential consequences of weak passwords. This is something that needs to be addressed more intensively in IT classes.

Basic digital education at all levels of schooling is expected to teach responsible use of digital media, safe online behaviour, and the active shaping of one’s digital identity with an awareness of rights and responsibilities. The introduction of digital devices such as tablets or laptops at lower secondary level not only provides continuity of learning, but also an opportunity to raise awareness of IT security. “Exercises such as creating a secure password or raising awareness of possible consequences can make a valuable contribution,” explains Christoph Pichler. Teachers are always faced with the challenge of having students with a wide range of educational backgrounds. “The spectrum of IT knowledge ranges from knowing where the power button is to being an IT nerd,” says Christoph Pichler.

Cooperation with IKARUS Security Software

Christoph Pichler came across IKARUS back in 2009 via the ministry website and has since had very positive experiences with IKARUS anti.virus.

“The systems I look after have never failed in the last 15 years,” summarises Christoph Pichler. In recent years, there have been schools whose server data was encrypted and only worked again after weeks without errors, as an example from Germany / Karlsruhe area in February 2023 showed. IKARUS anti.virus offers proactive protection against viruses and data loss and has an intuitive user interface for easy operation. If technical support is needed, “I appreciate the perfectly functioning telephone service in German and at eye level directly from the manufacturer”, says Christoph Pichler: “It’s pleasant to work with an Austrian company – it’s a matter of trust”.

Developments in school IT security

The digi:komp and digi:check initiatives will change a lot for both teachers and pupils in terms of their digital and information competence. Campaigns such as the traditional “Safer Internet Day” in February, which is dedicated to the reflective use of digital media, or the portal, which offers valuable downloads with tips and news for students as well as teaching materials for teachers, support further education in cyber security.

Finally, Christoph Pichler points out that “servers are gradually disappearing from schools and are being replaced by solutions such as Microsoft Office 365. So, it is and will remain exciting!”

Volksschule Ried

primary school 2,
secondary school 2,
polytechnic school Ried im Innkreis


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