When it comes to cybersecurity, the K-12 education sector has room to grow.
According to a study on K-12 cloud security by ManagedMethods, 86% of surveyed district-level school administrators reported either using or planning to implement cloud-based student data management programs — but half of respondents did not have or were unsure if they had a cybersecurity platform in place to protect that data.
School administrators in charge of K-12 cybersecurity deal with a myriad of challenges while navigating how best to secure the data of their students and staff. Andy Lombardo, Director of Technology at Maryville City Schools in Tennessee, and Charlie Sander, CEO of ManagedMethods, discuss the current threat landscape and how school administrators and IT directors can best maintain data privacy in their communities.
Challenges of K-12 data privacy
The cybersecurity knowledge gaps in the K-12 sector present opportunities for cyberattacks on unprepared systems. “One of the main data privacy challenges K12 cybersecurity leaders face today comes down to detection,” according to Lombardo. “The education industry in general is a bit further behind other industries. There are a lot of cases where data breaches and compromises are either not reported or not known, and this can threaten data privacy if not addressed.”
Another challenge of securing school data is insider risk. “One of the biggest threats to data privacy are students and staff,” said Sander. “Accidental data leaks are most common because of someone improperly sharing or storing sensitive documents in their school-provided cloud shared drives. It’s important that administrators protect privacy from both external and internal exposure.”
by Madeline Lauver, Security Magazine