“Hybrid Intelligence” is the Future of Cybersecurity for K-12 School Districts


What is “Hybrid Intelligence?” In this blog post we define this new - and powerful - concept, and 4 key reasons why it’s the future of K-12 cybersecurity.

This probably isn’t the first time you read something about generative-AI today. That’s because exciting advances in generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology are inching into every corner of our day-to-day lives. Whether through chat-bots, AI-assisted productivity tools or AI-generated content, you’re bound to interact with AI on a daily basis, sometimes without even knowing it. While K-12 leaders’ main concern today might be blocking students from seeking “help” from ChatGPT on homework, there’s another area where school districts should embrace AI advancements: cybersecurity.

As cyber criminals increasingly use generative AI to mount new and creative attacks, we must defend K-12 networks with the most comprehensive and advanced cybersecurity solutions available. AI has the capability to process huge amounts of data to detect anomalies (unexpected behavior or patterns) which could serve as Indicators of Compromise (IoC) to your networks. Detecting and alerting on these anomalies before they turn into a breach is essential to eliminating a cyberattack before it can do damage. AI helps to scale this process to make sure no potential breach falls through the cracks.

But while we need the power of AI, we also must leverage the power of human insights. AI tools can be powerful, but they aren’t all-knowing. A human cybersecurity specialist, with the instincts and experience to analyze alerts generated by AI within the context of your environment, is required to determine if there is a true, validated threat before taking action.

AI backed by human insights is what creates Hybrid Intelligence.

Here are 4 reasons why Hybrid Intelligence is essential to your K-12 school district’s cybersecurity posture:

#1: Threats are detected faster than ever

When it comes to cybercrime, education is now the #1 most attacked industry in the nation with K-12 school being the prime targets for cyber criminals. As bad actors focus more and more on schools, their attack plans are constantly evolving. There’s always a new type of threat out there.

Leveraging AI will enable your district to monitor and alert upon potential incidents faster than ever before. You no longer need to hire a whole team of in-house cybersecurity analysts to try and monitor everything themselves. Using advanced machine learning, cybersecurity solutions can quickly collect, coalesce, assess, and track information from a variety of different devices within your environment. So when there’s new threat variant out there, an AI-backed system will automatically analyze the threat, compare it to existing data, and quickly take action to eliminate the threat.

When it comes to a cyberattack, every minute counts. AI and machine learning can significantly reduce the detection and response times to potential threats against your district.

#2: Viable threat detection becomes more accurate

We know K-12 IT teams are often maxed out dealing with the day-to-day realities of their district’s IT needs, so facing constant, never-ending security alerts can be daunting. Especially when not every alert is a real threat.

No K-12 IT department has the bandwidth to spring to action with every alert. But AI technology makes it possible for organizations to identify even highly advanced threats with laser-like precision.

Machine learning can create rule-based, automated functionality to improve accuracy in detection of valid threats. Let’s look at a common example of how this works: Google’s Gmail service uses machine learning to block 99.9% of spam using rules-based filters to get rid of the obvious stuff, and machine learning to discover new spam patterns and get ahead of the curve by flagging an email as trusted or malicious.

Similarly, advanced cybersecurity platforms embed AI technology to enable K-12 IT teams to stay on top of fast evolving threats and new trends in a sustainable way. With more accurate detection, district Tech Leaders can feel more confident that their cybersecurity staff are equipped with accurate and valid information about threats before taking action.

#3: More sophisticated threat prediction

With constantly evolving and maturing cyberthreats, you need a security system that is keeping ahead of the curve and constantly innovating. The human brain is powerful, but there’s only so much information we can ingest and process to keep up with changing trends.

AI-based security systems can analyze and learn from a vast sea of data showing historical behavior and patterns to predict how and where an organization is likely to be breached. With the right tools, machine learning can give you the ability to look at the whole picture – both your district’s security posture and the current trends across the threat landscape.

Once you know where your biggest threats are, your district can make more informed decisions about where to invest your security resources.

#4: Faster, more comprehensive incident response

So what happens if there is a breach within your district? Do you have the resources and a plan in place to immediately and effectively address it?

With a Hybrid Intelligence solution, AI can be your first line of defense. AI-powered security systems deliver improved context for detection, prioritization, and response to alerts. With this information, K-12 teams can quickly respond to incidents and identify root causes to prevent future threats. Once AI sounds the alarm, then your human resources can follow your defense plan to quickly shut down a breach and ensure your sensitive personally identifiable information and other valuable data stays secure.


To face the ever-changing world of cyber threats, you need the best of both worlds. When you position AI as your front line of defense, backed by human expertise, you ensure your district has the best possible chance of detecting a breach before it wreaks havoc.

Securus360 utilizes an AI-driven approach that combines machine learning, security automation and human intelligence to close gaps in your network and continually monitor for known and unknown threats and attackers. With our Managed eXtended Detection & Response (MXDR) solution, your district can leverage an AI-based security solution to secure your entire school district with a 360-degree protective defense around your infrastructure, while our cybersecurity experts investigate, verify and eliminate every threat.

In order to fully protect your K-12 school district, AI is a must-have component of your cybersecurity posture. Combined with the insights from human cybersecurity experts, you’ll give your district the best possible protection against cyber criminals. Schedule a demo today to see how Securus360 can help you protect your network and keep your student and staff data safe.

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