Building a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Program in K-12 School Districts


As K-12 schools increase their use of technology along with the rapid rise in remote learning options, school districts are experiencing a significant increase in the number of cyber threats that can compromise the security of sensitive personal data and disrupt educational activities. To address this challenge, decision-makers, administrators, and parents need to take proactive steps to build, implement and manage a comprehensive cybersecurity program.

The objectives of a strong cybersecurity program are data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Confidentiality ensures that data is only accessible to authorized individuals, integrity ensures that the data is not altered or destroyed, and availability allows access only to those individuals or processes with verified credentials.

A successful cybersecurity program consists of 3 components: policy, education, and monitoring.

Policy – The starting point in developing an effective cybersecurity program is to develop a cybersecurity policy. A cybersecurity policy is a roadmap that documents the behavioral and technical guidelines for all staff and students to ensure maximum protection against any cybersecurity incident. The policy document details security policies, procedures, technology safeguards and includes an incident response plan that is implemented in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

Education – One of the most critical components of a comprehensive cybersecurity program is ensuring staff and students are educated on current cyber security best practices. A comprehensive training program teaches everyone the responsibilities of protecting sensitive data, how to securely interact online, recognize potential phishing threats and the importance of effective password management. The education program focuses on creating a culture of security adoption. Key training topics include password management, multi-factor authorization, phishing, social engineering, safe browsing, and mobile security. The success of a cybersecurity program comes down to staff and students understanding the importance of protecting sensitive data.

Monitoring – Monitoring is essential due to the continually changing cyber threat landscape. A successful cybersecurity program requires consistent monitoring and maintenance to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Ongoing monitoring helps to detect threats before they can do damage. Monitoring identifies vulnerabilities in your network and can update systems to help ensure compliance with required standards and regulations.

K-12 decision-makers can strengthen their school’s cybersecurity posture for maximum protection against the onslaught of ever evolving cyberattacks that are focused on the students and staff of schools across the United States and abroad by working with a trusted partner to develop, implement and manage a cybersecurity program.

Securus360 is focused exclusively on the K-12 education space and has developed a proven cybersecurity approach that is deployed at schools across the United States. The Securus360 Managed eXtended Detection & Response (MXDR) platform provides comprehensive protection against cyberattacks, including: detailed and ongoing vulnerability assessments, 24/7/365 real-time threat hunting, monitoring & detection, automated incident response and hybrid intelligence-based security analytics that combine Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with human cyber security analysts to ensure maximum alert accuracy.

To learn more contact Securus360 to schedule a time to speak with a cybersecurity expert.

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