Developing a Cybersecurity Policy for K-12 School Districts

Securus360

K12 school districts, and the Education market in general, have recently become the number one target for cyberattacks. To ensure maximum protection from cyber incidents, it is critical for every K12 school to develop an actionable and effective cybersecurity policy that includes a proven set of guidelines and rules are in place and ready to be used to maintain the security of the network and respond quickly in the event of a cyber attack.

The first question that may come to mind is “what is a cybersecurity policy?.” A cybersecurity policy is a set of standardized guidelines, rules, and procedures for all staff and students to follow to ensure maximum protection of the network. A cybersecurity policy sets expectations and provides staff and students with the necessary resources to protect the network from a possible cyber attack.

Before developing a cyber security policy, the following questions need to be answered:

  • What are my cybersecurity risks?
  • What cyber protection do I need to implement to minimize these risks?
  • What roles will staff and students play in our cyber protection plans?
  • What resources do staff and students need to understand and comply with when it comes to our cybersecurity policy?

The cybersecurity policy details security procedures, online use guidelines, technology assessments, and an incident response plan.

Security Procedures – Document how a layered security approach that involves deploying multiple layers of security to protect against a wide range of threats is implemented. These layers include firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems and system access controls. Define password and email management procedures.

Online Use Guidelines – Educate staff and students on how to work securely online. These standards include effective email use, understanding phishing scams, accessing systems remotely and instructions for reporting possible threats.

Technology Assessment - Conduct a vulnerability assessment to identify, assess and prioritize critical security exposures and define actionable insights on how to remediate the key findings.

Incident Response Plan - Create a well-defined incident response plan that is focused on containment and recovery and helps to minimize the impact of a security incident while ensuring an effective response and quick recovery.

Human error will always exist creating the opportunity for a cyberattack. Developing a cybersecurity policy and educating staff and students can significantly reduce the chances of a cyber attack. With technology constantly changing, it is important to note that developing a cybersecurity policy is an on-going process that needs to be reassessed periodically to meet the needs of the continually changing cybersecurity landscape.

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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