Key Questions to Uncover Your District’s Multilayered Cybersecurity Gaps

Recently, we hosted Ross Randall, the Director of Technology at Lamar County School District in Georgia, and Tim Miles, the Director of Technology at Steamboat Springs School District in Colorado, for a summer-inspired live webinar on fortifying your district’s multilayered cybersecurity strategy.

From beach balls to firewalls, Ross and Tim generously shared their practical insights, guiding other K-12 tech professionals through the complex layers of cybersecurity. They discussed assessing the current infrastructure and developing an effective incident response plan. You can watch the full webinar recording here.

In today’s digital landscape, fortifying your school district’s multilayered cybersecurity is more critical than ever. Let’s dive into three fundamental questions that Tim Miles shared that every district IT leader should ask when closing the gaps in their multilayered cybersecurity posture.

After exploring these questions, we will discuss how your district can fortify its security and safety strategy today.

1. Is your district continuing to experience malware incidents?

K-12 schools are the top target for ransomware, a type of malware that cybercriminals use to restrict access to data on computers, devices, and networks. Why? Schools are data-rich environments. They have access to student data, administrative records, and troves of parent data, such as Social Security numbers and credit card information.

In our recent webinar, Tim recommended that you ask yourself whether or not your district still receives malware. If so, that is a problem. He suggested investing in an excellent tool for detecting and remediating malware to close this cybersecurity gap. He further shared that he has not had one piece of malware in years because of investing in a tool that proves itself.

If you’re looking for a great malware solution, Cloud Monitor detects ransomware early warning signs to stop or reduce an attack’s impact in its earliest stages.

Know your tools. The Risks tab is very important if you are a ManagedMethods customer. If not, you should be. It’s extremely important to know what’s on your network and to educate yourself on what you don’t know because there is a lot we don’t know.
—Tim Miles, Director of Technology at Steamboat Springs School District

2. Are you fully aware of all activities on your network?

Your district’s network should be one of the most essential pieces of your IT infrastructure. Think about it: What if hackers gained access to your systems? Failure to protect it can have severe financial consequences, FERPA compliance risks, and, most importantly, data breaches that violate student privacy.

Tim returns to the age-old saying: “Who, what, when, where, and why?” He can’t emphasize enough the importance of uncovering everything you don’t know that could be in your network’s cracks. Understanding these aspects of network activity is crucial for cybersecurity and network management.

Where is a great place to start? Tim recommends the Cloud Monitor Risks tab.

Know what’s on your network. You have to. There are no ifs, thens, or buts. You must know what’s on your network and how it got there.
—Tim Miles, Director of Technology at Steamboat Springs School District

3. Are you maximizing the potential of your cybersecurity tools?

With ransomware recovery and system restoration costs reaching the millions, leveraging every tool in your K-12 tech stack is essential. Tim emphasizes that while no single tool can detect and address every cyber threat, many can help. Awareness is critical; know your potential gaps and be willing to accept necessary compromises.

Effective starting points include:

  • Implementing multifactor authentication (MFA).
  • Addressing known vulnerabilities.
  • Setting up regular backups.
  • Practicing an incident response plan.
  • Establishing a solid cybersecurity training program.

You have to know that you can’t stop every threat. Work with the wheel you’ve got because you can’t stop business. You’re going to have to compromise in a lot of places. Know where your compromising and feel good about it.
—Tim Miles, Director of Technology at Steamboat Springs School District

Start your multilayered cybersecurity strategy today with ManagedMethods’ Cloud Monitor and Content Filter products. With Cloud Monitor patrolling your Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 domains and detecting cyber threats, you’ll have the visibility you need to leap into action. And, thanks to Content Filter, you won’t have to worry about students and staff accessing malicious websites or inappropriate content online. In combination, these solutions protect sensitive information and the safety of your entire district.

Want to see these platforms in action? Schedule your free cybersecurity and safety audit with ManagedMethods to kick-start your cybersecurity journey today.

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