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Developing a Framework for Your District’s Cybersecurity Program

Mar 3, 2021

Bill Spakowski, Director of New Business Development for Education Services at DYOPATH  

Due to the changes in safety protocols brought about by the pandemic, electronic learning is being promoted, new technologies are being used, and virtual classes are being conducted. Because of this increased use of technology, schools have become more prone to cyberattacks. As such, superintendents need to implement a proactive cybersecurity program to protect their faculty, students, and data. 

In my previous blog, I discussed the risks faced by schools due to their negligence towards cybersecurity. In this blog, I’ll talk about the need for a cybersecurity program for school districts and the different actions that should be taken to mitigate and address cyberthreats. 

Preparing Schools for Cyberthreats 

School districts could prevent, mitigate, and recover from cyberthreats by taking a variety of actions. These necessary actions should be conducted before, during, and after a cyberattack. 

Before an Attack 

Being proactive with cybersecurity will help to prevent a cyberattack before it can even occur. The considerations that should be taken by a superintendent before an attack occurs include the following: 

Enforce policies for responsible use of technology: 

A superintendent should plan and oversee the implementation of well-formulated policies for the responsible use of technology throughout the school district. These policies should clearly mention how much accessibility will be given to all members of the school district. Before using the school’s system, all of the students, faculty members, and other staff should be aware of the policies regarding their use. Additionally, all school district employees should complete cybersecurity training. 

To select the best security policies for your school, DYPOATH is at your service to provide you with a customized security plan that will ensure the cybersecurity of your schools district’s unique needs. 

Invest smartly in security: 

One of the most important things you can do is to have IT management to keep track of the usage of network systems in your school district. This is where a superintendent should invest its money critically, as the choice of the IT service provider will affect the cybersecurity of your district. 

As a reliable IT Managed Service Provider, DYPOATH can deliver Advanced Security Services to prevent your school and school district from cyberthreats, ensuring comprehensive security. 

Incidence response plan: 

If you start taking action only when a cyberattack occurs, it will negatively affect the productivity of your school district, in addition to being costly. Hence, an incident response plan should be set into place before an attack takes place. As the saying goes, “Hope for the best but plan for the worst”. 

With DYPOATH as your school’s IT Service Provider, you can rest assured that the safety of your sensitive data will be protected by a proactive, broad-coverage security plan. 

During an Attack 

Even if you take all the preventive measures, a cyberattack can still occur. To mitigate damage during a cyberattack, your incident response plan needs to be implemented. This may include the following procedures: 

  • Changing access permissions. 
  • Evaluating the type of attack and its severity to implement appropriate mitigation processes. 
  • Taking the affected systems offline right away in order to terminate additional data loss. 
  • Informing school district stakeholders about the attack. 
  • Documenting and analyzing the attack to prevent similar, future attacks. 

To fulfill all of these steps, a knowledgeable and reputable IT service provider is needed. DYPOATH has deep industry experience in accomplishing all of these mitigation steps for our clients. 

After an Attack 

Superintendents should take the following necessary steps to recover after a cyberattack: 

  • Identify the people and the virtual elements impacted by the cyberattack. 
  • Analyze the affected systems thoroughly as the hacker might have left some malicious software that could cause further harm. 
  • Collect all evidence for civil, criminal, or regulatory proceedings. 
  • Revise security policies if necessary.  
  • Apply recovery plans. 
  • Check your school’s official website and email to remediate any misinformation the attacker may have planted. 
  • Consider hiring a PR specialist to work with you on informing the public and minimizing reputation damage. 

Prevent Cyber Risks from Jeopardizing Your School District’s Security 

DYPOATH’s Advanced Security Services can provide school districts with optimal recovery to ensure minimal to no loss during cyberattacks. 

If you’re concerned about the status of your school’s cybersecurity protocol, DYOPATH can help. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. As part of our “You Are Accountable to Your Own Community” campaign, we are aiming to arm superintendents with the knowledge and necessary security services to protect their schools and school districts from cyberattacks. In my next and final upcoming blog in this campaign, I’ll be discussing the dangers of relying on reactive security measures for protection. 

You can learn more about DYOPATH and our Education Services by visiting our website. 

Bill Spakowski, Director of New Business Development for Education Services  

DYOPATH 

 

About the author: Bill Spakowski is Director of New Business Development for Education Services at DYOPATH Bill started out by developing the K12 Education vertical to improve the education landscape for students through the integration of technology. Now, he focuses his time on developing the company’s strategy in the education space, creating new product offerings, focusing on student and staff achievements, and new business development in Education Services.

1 Comment

  1. Sean

    as someone in the learning community, this is really important for districts to understand. Great blog, keep writing!

    Reply

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