Your school district’s cybersecurity program can either prevent a cyberattack or cause lasting damage to your assets and reputation. One of the reasons many schools and school districts are more susceptible to cyberattacks is due to taking the wrong approach to cybersecurity. Instead of taking proactive measures, superintendents are relying on reactive cybersecurity measures only. In such situations, they wait until a cyberattack happens and then respond to it, rather than taking effective cybersecurity measures beforehand.
In my previous blogs included in our “You are accountable to your own community” campaign, I talked about the risks schools are facing due to the lack of proper cybersecurity and also the need for an effective cybersecurity program to protect your school district before, during and after a cyberattack. In this blog, I will explain the dangers of relying on reactive cybersecurity measures and instead, introduce you to a proactive approach.
Why Reactive Measures Will Not Protect Your School District
A reactive cybersecurity approach is never a good option when it comes to the security of your school district. It can never prevent you from experiencing cyberattacks – only from preventing the existing damage of an attack from getting out of control.
Firewall and Anti-Virus Are Not Enough
Reactive cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antiviruses, and spam filters are not enough to protect you from cyberthreats. While they do still offer some protection, it is not nearly as robust as is needed to combat today’s cybercriminals.
As far as firewalls are concerned, they forbid bad actors from getting into your network. However, cybercriminals no longer need to break through firewalls as they can easily exploit vulnerabilities of unwitting insiders such as unintentionally clicking phishing links in emails or installing malicious software. Likewise, antivirus programs can’t keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape of today’s sophisticated hackers.
It’s Not a Matter of “if”, but “When” Your School Will Face Cyber Risk
With the increasing number of advanced cyberattacks, superintendents should no longer ponder IF the cybersecurity of their schools will be jeopardized, but WHEN will it be jeopardized?
Cyberthreats have been increasing day by day. The conduction of online classes due to the outburst of COVID-19 has made school districts even more susceptible to cyberthreats. There had been over 220 school system attacks in 2020 alone as of September.
We have seen this type of situation time and time again at DYOPATH. I recently spoke with a superintendent whose school became the victim of a cyberattack when an internal staff member unknowingly clicked on a phishing email. Due to the absence of proactive cybersecurity measures, the school was not able to prevent this attack which turned into a very costly mistake, both for the school’s finances and for their reputation.
It is a fact that a single protective measure cannot protect you from a wide range of threats as cybercriminals have become more sophisticated. Therefore, superintendents need to choose a multi-layered security approach to prevent their district from various cyberthreats – covering both reactive and proactive security measures.
DYOPATH Can Provide a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Program for Your K-12 School
A complete cybersecurity approach is essential to safeguard your school. We provide data-driven measurements and customized security programs, including a cybersecurity risk assessment to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. Working with DYOPATH, you can expect to experience:
- Reduced costs by identifying threats and mitigating them
- Data breach and loss prevention
- Minimized system downtime
- Increased productivity and system-wide efficiency
Our experienced Education Experts work one-on-one with superintendents to design and implement the perfect cybersecurity framework for their individual school district.
If you’re concerned about the status of your school’s cybersecurity protocol, our team of security experts can help you with your business continuity needs to prevent costly breaches.
Continue the conversation with one of our Education Experts who can provide you with everything you need to know about how to best protect the community you are accountable to.
Click HERE to Schedule a meeting
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.
You can learn more about DYOPATH and our Education Services by visiting our website.
Bill Spakowski, Director of New Business Development for Education Services
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.