How to Keep Your K-12 School District Networks Secure During the Holidays


The holidays are right around the corner, and there’s a lot to do to prepare before they get here. It’s easy to focus on our personal plans, but it’s equally important to prepare our campus networks for increased cybersecurity threats. While it’s an exciting time for your students and staff, the holidays can be an extremely vulnerable time for your K-12 school district in terms of cybersecurity.

The holidays mean time off for students and staff, enjoying time away from campus and their computers. But it also provides more opportunities for cyber criminals to target your networks and seek out vulnerabilities in your security posture. Since K-12 school districts are the prime target for cyber criminals, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the risks.

There are a few big reasons why the holidays leave your schools more vulnerable than ever:

#1: Holiday excitement and fewer IT staff on campus can mean less attention to cybersecurity

We all know that students’ excitement for the holidays brings with it increased distraction and energy.

While we can appreciate their enthusiasm, trying to educate students with cybersecurity awareness training, on top of their regular responsibilities during the last few days of school before a holiday break, would not only be exhausting and stressful for your staff but could also mean that your students are less likely to be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity practices.

Once students and faculty are out of the building, your IT staff will also be taking some well-deserved time off. When they’re away from the office, there are fewer eyes on the network – and cyber criminals know it! Bad actors will take advantage of decreased scrutiny by increasing their efforts to breach your networks – and they’ll have a better chance of success if your networks are not continually monitored 24/7/365, especially during the actual holiday observances.

#2: Cybersecurity partner time off could be bad for your network

It’s bad enough that you’ll have fewer eyes on your network internally during the holidays, but if you’re working with a cybersecurity partner or Managed Service Provider (MSP) who does not offer true 24/7/365 monitoring, the risk is exponential.

If they don’t guarantee continual monitoring while much of your staff is out of the office over the holidays, you and your network will pay the price. With less monitoring for cybersecurity threats, cyber criminals know this is an ideal time to target school districts. It’s the worst possible time to leave your network unattended.

If your current cybersecurity partner or MSP doesn’t offer 24/7/365 monitoring, then they are not the ideal option for your district.

#3: Cyber criminals leverage feel-good fraud

It happens to the best of us: an email pops into our inbox with the best Black Friday-Cyber Monday (BFCM) sale you’ve ever seen, and 2 seconds later you’ve clicked the link and input your credit card information. And now that most people prefer online shopping, BFCM isn’t limited to the day after Thanksgiving or the Monday following, but also extends to the weeks before and after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, cyber criminals use this time to target individuals with “too good to be true” offers that steal financial and personal information.

On top of this, the festive holiday mood means feel-good stories or memes are passed around on social media and through email. If it makes them feel good, people are less likely to think before forwarding the message. When you open the email, text message, or simply click on a link, it can deliver malware to your computer or mobile device. If your staff or students click on one of those links at school, then your entire network could be compromised.

MXDR will keep your networks safe over the holidays

Worrying about potential security breaches during the busy holiday season can be overwhelming. It’s a situation you have to tackle head-on, but it’s not hopeless.

Managed eXtended Detection & Response (MXDR) from Securus360 provides the continuous 24/7/365 security that your K-12 school district should have throughout the year – not just over the holidays. MXDR utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning backed by human insights to ensure your network is safe and secure. Intuitive AI will continually monitor your network for threats, while our human experts analyze each risk to ensure your holiday dinner won’t be interrupted by alerts going off at all hours.

Securus360 MXDR proactively hunts for threats and quickly detects and helps neutralize even the most advanced attacks before they can wreak havoc on your school district.

If you’re thinking about the holiday season and wondering if you are completely protected against fast-evolving global cyber threats, schedule a demo today and let Securus360 show you how MXDR can fully protect your network, year-round. Even holidays.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Related Articles


The Dark Side of the Holidays: Cybersecurity Threats to K-12 Education

As the holiday season approaches, many students and teachers are looking forward to time off from...

Read more

6 Best Practices for K-12 Cybersecurity: Actions Every School District Should Take Right Now for Optimal Protection

K-12 School Districts are more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks than ever before.

Read more


100 Spectrum Center Drive, Suite 900, Irvine, California 92618 | Phone: (949) 266-6900