Podcast | Data Protection in the K-12 Cloud

June 9, 2021


Episode 12: Data Protection in the K-12 Cloud

The use of cloud technology in K-12 schools has greatly increased over the past year. This has made districts a top target by cyber criminals, and it’s becoming more important that the sensitive data stored within remains secure and protected. However, it’s difficult for districts to accomplish when the cloud layer is growing rapidly and remains to not be seen as high as a threat, compared to other layers of a K-12 cybersecurity strategy.

Cloud applications, such as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, contain massive amounts of data on students, teachers, parents, and staff. Unfortunately, monitoring the activity taking place on the inside to have the visibility and control to secure it all isn’t always top-of-mind for IT teams. While it may be the newest layer in K-12, it arguably is the most-used in today’s learning environments.

Vince Humes, the Director of Innovative Technology Solutions at Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5 in Pennsylvania, joins The K-12 Tech Experience podcast to discuss how IT leaders can protect the rapidly growing cloud layer in education. Vince shares how all the layers in K-12 cybersecurity work together and the school activity he looks for in the cloud that may signal a potential risk.

Learn more about Vince and Northwest Tri-County IU5 in the episode preview below. Subscribe to The K-12 Tech Experience podcast to listen to the rest of the conversation and to keep up with all upcoming episodes.

JK: To kick things off, let’s have you share a bit more about yourself, your career so far, and a bit more about Northwest Tri-County IU5 for our listeners.

VH: I started my career in manufacturing, but had an opportunity early on to take on a role in a suburban district of about 7,000 students and have been in educational technology ever since. I spent 12 years at that district, then did a little time in higher ed, and then I ended up here at the Intermediate Unit.

We’re a regional service agency, serving counties that have been assigned to us by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. IU5 serves three counties for public schools, but we extend across 30 counties for other services we do for Pennsylvania.

JK: As an education service agency, how has this past year been for Northwest Tri-County? Especially with all the remote and blended learning—and working—taking place in education.

VH: We’ve probably been like everyone and we’ve experienced a situation we’ve never dreamed of. As a service agency working with 17 public schools and providing those services to many other types of organizations, we hit some pretty large hurdles over the past year.

Going virtual, we did have some tools. But, basically the way we deliver services we weren’t good at doing virtually because we didn’t need to be. So, at the onset [of the pandemic], it was challenging.

Listen to the rest of our conversation with Vince below and check out previous episodes on the ManagedMethods podcast page. Make sure to subscribe to The K-12 Tech Experience wherever you listen to your podcasts, so you never miss an episode!