Recent updates from the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center have revealed the number of cyberattacks that targeted US schools tripled during 2019 before accounting for 61% percent of all malware attacks during 2020 – according to Microsoft research. Now is the time for all educational bodies to enhance their cybersecurity measures. There is absolutely no doubt that school districts need to focus on cybersecurity efforts. Here we have listed 5 key characteristic robust K12 compliance security solutions.
- Apply Patches & Updates ASAP: All disruption to the annual school cycle is welcome, even more so after the intermittent lock downs that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, updates should not be postponed to try and avoid any down time. If software patches and updates are not applied as quickly as possible then bodies are running the risk of having known vulnerabilities targeted. IT staff need to create a process to conduct the update process using a device management system such as Group Policy or an MDM solution.
- Removing Legacy Technology: Schools have a habit, in order to make resources stretch as far as possible, to delay removing legacy tech from their network. While it is natural for teachers and administrators to distribute as many computing devices into the hands of students as they can, it can result in devices that are no longer supported (and therefore vulnerable) creating a vulnerability on the network. These devices should be removed no matter what.
- A Strong Security System: An education enterprise grade email security solution should measures to tackle spam, viruses, ransomware and embedded links to malicious websites while also preventing data leaks from educational bodies. SpamTitan can complete this as it features double antivirus protection as well as protection from zero-day attacks.
- Avoid Allocating Local Admin Rights: When students are assigned local admin privileges it creates a major vulnerability on the network in question. When a user downloads malware or other types of malicious code it obtains the rights and privileges of that user. Children could be tempted to install software and download games without thinking. While allotting local admin rights to all standard users makes it more straightforward for internal IT to deploy machines, it also makes it easier for hackers to distribute malware and viruses.
- Advanced Internet Filtering: All schools that are given e-Rate funding must configure some element of content filtering solution in place. As content filtering is no longer sufficient when it comes to Internet filtering there is also a requirement for an advanced DNS Security and DNS content filtering system such as WebTitan. The DNS Security system of WebTitan prevents students from viewing malicious web pages and internet based malware depositories. It checks for, and spots, malicious threats in real time and removes internet packets of malware and malicious code, in doing so maintaining the safety of the online learning process.
It is crucial that all educational institutions Wsee to it that they are kept safe from the ever increasing threat posed by cybercriminals. Configuring the above five elements to a K12 Security strategy will greatly assist in this happening. In order to keep your K12 body safe using a multi-layer security solution, contact the TitanHQ Security team now to find out how you can safeguard your group.