Cybersecurity and Schools | Stamping Out the Threat to K-12 Education
Published on by Rachael Cruse in Consulting, Not-for-Profit, Technology
If the thought of a cybersecurity breach in your K-12 school system fills you with existential dread, you’re not alone. The potential negative impact is very high – potential exposure of personally identifiable information (PII), disruption of education and other critical operations, and the possibility of high recovery costs and even lawsuits loom large.
A report from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), a non-profit consumer education and advocacy organization, reports that 788 data breaches have occurred in K-12 schools and higher education institutions since 2005, with more than 14 million records compromised. And, as technology usage continues to rise, these statistics are likely to increase.
Cybersecurity resources for K-12 schools
If cybersecurity is a critical discussion topic or concern in your K-12 school district, there are some great resources out there to help you reinforce your digital fortress. Earlier this year, Barnes Dennig developed a short video on cybersecurity resources and recommendations for non-profits – and the same tools and information are relevant for school districts. Some of the insights we shared:
Google has multiple tools available for non-profits, and a group called TechSoup has tons of great resources for software and licensing.
An IT networking group called nten provides a guide on resources for non-profit cybersecurity, which they developed in conjunction with Microsoft, and it’s a great resource for schools as well.
Among other recommendations, the utilization of free learning tools and peer-to-peer networking are key pillars for staying on the leading edge of cybersecurity awareness and trends.
We also hosted a virtual event on how non-profits can protect themselves and their donors – and once again, much of the information is relevant for school districts, too, and it’s available for you to watch on-demand, free.
Free cybersecurity virtual event
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is providing a free virtual event taking place from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET November 1 – 3 for anyone with an interest in K-12 school safety and security (both virtual security and physical security).
In this national forum, speakers from government, private sector, and community leaders in the field will provide expertise, training, and other resources for attendees to apply in their local settings and communities. Here’s the link to register for your access to this important conversation.
Did you hear something at the event on cybersecurity that you’d like to explore further? Contact us for a free consultation – as always, our professionals are here to help with your most pressing issues and questions.