How to Put Powerful Cybersecurity Tools in Place on a Limited Budget


Cybersecurity is more important than ever for K-12 school districts.

Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and dangerous every day. Attacks worldwide have increased significantly in volume due to Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) Groups being able to scale their operations much faster and easier than the traditional, sole-operator style Ransomware Gangs. K-12 school districts are especially attractive targets, due to their wealth of highly valuable student and staff information, all of which has led to the Education space becoming the #1 most attacked market in the USA. It’s essential that your school district is fully protected against cyberattacks.

Unfortunately, many school districts don’t have the budget or human resources available to build a robust cybersecurity team ready to take on these new challenges in addition to their many other responsibilities. This new reality of budget cuts and hiring freezes prevents many school districts from bringing on the needed staff or providing the advanced training to existing team members in new, sophisticated cybersecurity operations and technologies.

As hacking becomes more sophisticated and the cybersecurity threat landscape continues to evolve at an accelerated pace, the solutions that worked 2 years ago are no longer enough. School districts are being exposed to new threats, many of which have never been seen before.

The good news is that when your budget is limited, there are cybersecurity tools you can implement to begin to close the gaps in your security posture. You can choose to DIY, or you can work with a partner to augment your team and do a lot of the heavy lifting.

DIY Your Cybersecurity Solution

You can begin to make changes in-house right now.

Here’s how to get started:

Network Segmentation

This is the first step you should take to secure your network as soon as possible. Assess which users need access to what information and apply group policy controls and firewalls to limit lateral movement within the system. Focus on protecting your most critical assets if your defenses fail: the sensitive information of your students and staff.

Vulnerability Scans

Perform regular vulnerability scans to identify critical vulnerabilities in your environment. Once identified, you can prioritize and address these issues to close dangerous gaps in your security before they can be exploited.

Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) Tools

This new technology uses processes and techniques common among traditional pen-testing organizations. But with new automation advancements, it’s a much faster, more cost-effective way to efficiently test your network against common types of attacks.

Incident Response Planning

If a breach happens, ensure you are ready with an Incident Response Plan. This will outline and instruct how you will detect, respond to, and recover from a security breach.

Once you’ve accomplished these tasks, it’s time to level up your cybersecurity protection.

A Managed Security Services partner can work as an extension of your team

While you can take steps to secure your K-12 school district on your own, there are many benefits to working with a cybersecurity partner.

Partnering with a Managed eXtended Detection and Response (MXDR) provider focused on the K-12 space has proven time and again to be more cost-effective than:

  • Hiring and training new cybersecurity staff
  • Purchasing additional technology solutions that will constantly need to be updated
  • Overtime hours that are necessary for your IT staff to perform their job 24/7/365

Even after you have implemented network segmentation, it can be difficult to see exactly what is going on inside your network. You could have hundreds or thousands of logins from your students and staff every day. Monitoring this manually is an impossible task.

A qualified security consultant, such as Securus360, offers a 24/7/365 Security Operations Center (SOC) who immediately alerts you of any suspicious activity. With Securus360’s K-12 focused MXDR platform, you can set expected behavior rules for each segment of your network (i.e. Staff, Admin, Student networks) and any anomalous activity will immediately be brought to your attention.

Through multi-vector monitoring and machine learning assisted threat hunting mechanism that can analyze millions of security log entries from numerous different devices on your network each day combined with a team of experienced SOC analysts working for you round the clock, 24/7/365, your IT team will be free to focus on their core IT responsibilities and strategic projects.

Single-point solutions get expensive and can leave holes in your defense. Securus360 never sleeps! As cyber threats evolve, we continue to improve detection metrics and deploy new tools to identify and contain threats before a breach can occur. You will sleep soundly knowing that your school district is protected 24/7/365 with the most advanced technology.

Even while facing budget cuts and mounting threats, you will have a cybersecurity partner that focuses exclusively on the K-12 space in your corner. Securus360 is here to take care of your network, so you can focus on the education of your students.

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