A Primer for K12 School Districts just getting started with Cybersecurity


IT infrastructure often competes for attention with many priorities within K-12 school systems. Cybersecurity mitigation often lacks the funding needed to provide a strong defense against rising threats in the current environment. It would be natural to come to the conclusion that maintaining a critical set of cybersecurity controls in school systems is a highly costly endeavor in both time and money. As most collaborative learning and workspaces migrate to virtual or hybrid environments with the emphasis of using newer technology, it’s hard to overlook the challenges that come with upgrading a school’s network infrastructure. As cyber attacks aimed towards school systems are becoming regular occurrences and more sophisticated, everyone from students, staff and faculty will have become more cyber security savvy. These attacks vary in their implementation, including ransomware, data theft, phishing and cyber vandalism. This report addresses these risks towards K-12 schools as well as effective strategies to protect against them, especially for those just getting started.

This report identifies five actions a school system IT staff might take now or in the near
future to better defend IT infrastructure:

  1. Train IT Staff and End Users
  2. Add Technical Expertise to your IT Team
  3. Secure the network.
  4. Create a sustainable plan to replace equipment at regular intervals.
  5. Create an environment of certainty for the IT Function with leadership buy-in and
    reliable funding