Schools are an attractive target for cybercriminals
Schools are not only likely to pay a ransom to swiftly continue their operations, but also hold student records, which can sell on the dark web for a lot of money.
The number of cyberattacks on K-12 schools has been steadily increasing over the past five years. According to Bloomberg, while in 2016 US schools experienced only 69 attacks, in 2020, that value skyrocketed to 408. Experts suggest that the estimated number is very general and can, in fact, be 10-20 times higher. During the continuous stage of remote learning, educational facilities suffered from over 5.8 million malware attacks, with 44% of the world’s institutions affected.
Charlie Sander, Chairman & CEO at ManagedMethods, which allows K-12 IT teams to easily identify cybersecurity risks and cyber safety signals in district Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 accounts, talked to us about the company’s approach to keeping schools safe.
How did the idea of ManagedMethods come about?
K-12 education was quickly becoming heavily dependent on the cloud, as schools began using Google’s cloud collaboration applications in the early 2010s. This still holds true today as school districts are more committed to the cloud due to the productivity and collaboration offered by Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
Seeing this trend, I joined my co-founders at ManagedMethods in 2014, with a mission to help make schools safer. ManagedMethods does so by making Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 cloud security and safety easy. Our platform provides a centralized command center for district IT teams to manage the cybersecurity and student safety risks that may exist in their cloud environments.
We help make it possible for school districts to realize the productivity, collaboration, and classroom learning benefits that cloud applications provide, without exposing students and staff to the security and safety risks impacting K-12 education today.
Besides providing cloud security, ManagedMethods also takes physical safety into account. What tools do you use, and which red flags do you keep an eye out for?
Our team has put a significant amount of effort into developing ManagedMethods Signals, the K-12 education industry’s leading AI technology for student cyber safety monitoring.
ManagedMethods Signals monitors a school district’s Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 accounts for red flags such as cyberbullying, self-harm, discrimination, threats of violence, explicit content, and more. These red flags are often hidden in text and images that exist in emails, documents, and files stored on cloud drives provided by school districts.
Cybersecurity is a critical part of making schools safe. With students now spending more time online during school hours, we’re proud to see our Signals feature making a positive impact in detecting these signals early on to help protect students and staff—online and offline.
Share with us, what’s next for ManagedMethods?
We have a few initiatives in the works at ManagedMethods we believe will help further our platform as the leading cybersecurity, student safety, and compliance platform in the K-12 education industry. Without giving too much away, we’re currently focused on expanding to cover more Google and Microsoft applications within the ManagedMethods platform. This will help offer more protection as the number of apps used in the classroom increases.
Stay tuned for what’s to come from ManagedMethods in 2022!
by Anna Zhadan, cybernews