Cybersecurity has always been a high priority for K-12 administrators and staff, but with the rapid push to remote learning brought on by COVID-19, school leadership has had to consider how to educate through the lens of cybersecurity.

While school years are closing up for the 2019 – 2020 year, it’s still unknown what our learning environments will look like for the 2020 – 2021 school year. Let’s look at 10 things that K-12 schools must focus on – whether the next school year takes place in person on via remote learning.

Related content: To improve cybersecurity, start at the endpoints

10 K-12 cyber must-dos

1. Perform A Risk Assessment
You’re already doing risk assessments for severe weather, fire, or other types of crises and emergencies. Do the same for your technology resources. This will give you the visibility you need to identify areas of concern. Don’t be surprised if your assessment finds that you have more systems than you realized. For instance, many administrators are surprised to learn that computers are controlling other systems such as door locks or cameras.

2. Create and Maintain an Accurate Technology Inventory
The vast majority of districts don’t have an accurate inventory of their technology assets and contracts because they aren’t considering their hardware and software resources in addition to the third-party services with whom they’re contracted. Districts have to have a holistic view of all of these assets if they are to properly secure their schools and students.

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About the Author:

Ryan Cloutier, CISSP, is the principal security consultant at SecurityStudio, which works to fix information security industry problems through simplification. A passionate cybersecurity thought leader Ryan is a chairperson on the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Cyber Security Advisory Panel and can be reached at rcloutier@securitystudio.com.


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