The number of cyberattacks against schools continues to rise. Just recently, the personal data of 820,000 students was compromised in New York City. Demographics about students, including their names and addresses, were accessed by the hacker. This is only the latest in a long line of attacks on schools, and cybercriminals show no signs of giving up.
Districts Need to Take Action
School districts throughout the US have suffered cybersecurity attacks in some form since the start of the pandemic. IT district leaders have said that cybersecurity training is still lacking in schools. Does your IT team know what to watch out for and what steps to take to better secure your district? We recommend the following actions:
Assess Your Security
You cannot address issues if you don’t know about them, so the first step in creating a more secure school district is to analyze your current network and security policies so that you can bring your school district up to date. You may have unpatched software that leaves you vulnerable or policies that don’t adequately address student data privacy.
Multifactor authentication, or MFA, is an absolute necessity. According to Microsoft, implementing this one action – making people provide a secondary source of verification through a texted code or other method – can eliminate up to 99% of ransomware. EdTech Magazine recently explored the reasons why some schools have held off on implementing MFA. While it can be expensive, there are options that are easy to implement and cost-effective for school districts.
Train Your Staff
Your staff can either be your biggest risk or your strongest line of defense. But if they don’t know what they’re looking for when assessing risk, they’ll likely miss it. The right cybersecurity courses can offer help while you are working to ensure safety for both students and staff. Your team can develop the skills required to design a cybersecurity strategy for your district with online self-paced courses designed by Coursera which GG4L has curated specifically for K-12 school districts to train your staff.
Additional courses include courses on networking, cloud computing, data science, analytics, and courses leading to certifications from Google, IBM and other companies.
Here’s an example of an IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Certification Training which includes:
- Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks
- Cybersecurity Roles, Processes & Operating System Security
- Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration
- Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities
- Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics
- Cyber Threat Intelligence
- Cybersecurity Capstone: Breach Response Case Studies
- IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Assessment
Global Grid for Learning is pleased to offer GG4L member schools the Coursera learning platform. Its available now through GG4L’s iPaaS platform School Passport. With PII Shield, we protect your schools PII data making it compliant with student data privacy policies. Express an interest in these courses for your staff today.