On Guard: CoSN Updates Cybersecurity Resources for School Technology Leaders

Washington, DC
Thursday, March 23, 2017
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) today released a modernized Cybersecurity Initiative to help school technology leaders protect against this 21st century threat.
 
As part of the update, CoSN developed resources that will give district technology leaders current guidance to put the necessary systems in place to help thwart attacks and protect their networks. The initiative is supported by AT&T and Fortinet.
 
“The up-to-date initiative could not come at a more important moment for school system leaders and their communities,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “As districts leverage technology for learning, it is critical that they protect their networks, analyze their current status, and validate what they are or are not doing well. These resources will help them do that as threats continue to evolve.”
 
The Cybersecurity Initiative offers school technology leaders the following key resources:
 
  • Cybersecurity Planning Rubric. The Planning Rubric provides a comprehensive set of areas required for a complete security plan, describing what that element might look like at the “Basic,” “Developing,” “Adequate,” and “Advanced Levels.” 
  • Cybersecurity Planning Template. The Template provides a structure for identifying the next steps to address each of the areas of the Planning Rubric. 
  • Cybersecurity Self Assessment. The Assessment is a 100-point quiz for districts to assess where they are in implementing their security plan.
CoSN has also created an infographic outlining the importance of cybersecurity for districts, including the potential liability of the district and school leadership in the event of a student data breach.
 
“AT&T is excited to have participated in this initiative,” said Kevin Carman, director, education marketing, AT&T Services, Inc. “We believe these resources are much-needed by school districts and will help leadership assess the district’s security posture. We look forward to sharing these resources with our K-12 education customers.”
“As schools move from the traditional classroom to a fully integrated digital learning environment where technology is embedded in nearly every aspect of the curriculum, from BYOD to online learning, education institutions must increasingly focus on protecting their distributed networks from sophisticated cyber attacks,” said Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, Vice President of Strategic Programs at Fortinet. “Through our partnership with CoSN, Fortinet is helping ensure that education technology leaders are equipped with the cybersecurity training and end-to-end security fabric technology required to protect all devices on their networks, while meeting budget and staff limitations as well as adhering to compliance requirements.” 
 
During a CoSN webinar this month, district technology leaders discussed the key cyber vulnerabilities for school systems as well as effective cybersecurity practices.   
 
Learn more about CoSN’s Cybersecurity Initiative at: cosn.org/cybersecurity.
 
Additional Quotes from Experts
 
Keith Bockwoldt, Director of Technology Services, Township High School District 214, Arlington Heights, IL, and CoSN Board of Directors
 
“CoSN’s Cybersecurity initiative is a great resource for school system technology leaders to assess and determine what they are doing well and which areas they might need to pay some attention. In an age where school systems must be alert to the imminent threats against their systems, these resources will assist to keep your networks safe and running to maximize student learning.”
 
Nathan Mielke, Director Of Technology Services, Hartford Union High School, Hartford, WI
 
“This is a challenge that is not simply solved by technical means – no software or security appliance will protect you from everything. Education and relationships will be your strongest assets in improving your organization’s security.”
 
Marie Bjerede, Principal, Mobile Learning and Infrastructure, CoSN
 
“Cybersecurity is more important than ever, with implications for students, teachers, and IT staff. I am delighted that CoSN has released tools to help district technology leaders navigate the cybersecurity landscape.”