Back to School

  • Published: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

Summer fun is over, and kids are heading back to the classrooms. Pens, papers and electronic devices of all sorts will be accompanying them. They are armed for the learning environment. In terms of cybersecurity, you should be, too.

During the pandemic, the threat landscape grew as classrooms were forced to function remotely. This escalated the cybersecurity risks to schools, students, teachers and parents. Ransomware, phishing and data breaches saw a dramatic rise. Therefore, cyber defense needed to be amplified to focus on these increasing attack vectors. 

Many IT teams found that end user controls were out of control. Unknown home networks with unknown vulnerabilities were connecting to the school's resources. A balance of security and usability needed to be reached. This drove many to the cloud. Using cloud-based resources would assist with protecting the school's network. Other options included the use of a virtual private network (VPN) in order to access resources. Reconfiguring and securing assets became a top priority. 

As the doors to the physical classrooms open and people are taking a seat, this security continues. If oversights have been made in end-user education, take advantage of this in-person opportunity to reflect on the last couple of years and the personal challenges that have been experienced in cybersecurity. Phishing simulations and computer-based training can assist with educating learners in recognizing and reacting to social engineering attacks.  

As the bustle of the new school year begins to settle in, you should take the opportunity to check your cybersecurity posture.

  • Have you allowed patches and updates to run?
  • Is your hardware and software inventory up to date?
  • Are the backups of critical systems on schedule? Did you test the restore process? Remember to keep offline and off site copies.
  • Don't forget to review your incident response plan.
  • Check your logs and monitor bandwidth usage for any anomalies. Know and document  your normal use and consumption.

Cyber crooks don't take time off. They keep pumping out the attacks. They don't care how small you might be. They are looking for vulnerabilities. Make sure you put as many road blocks in front of them as you possibly can. Our members can count on MOREnet's Cybersecurity Operations Team for assistance. Contact us at [email protected]