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Articles: Cybersecurity

When securing edtech infrastructure, district leaders must concentrate on six layers of security—physical, network, applications, content, endpoint and cloud/data centers—to build a comprehensive defense against increasing and evolving cyberattacks.

Derrick Brown, CIO,  Evergreen Public Schools

Since joining Evergreen Public Schools four years ago, Derrick Brown has overseen implementation of a districtwide 1-to-1 program.

School districts will likely deal with network failures or breaches. To recover effectively, district technology professionals can respond with the following strategies.

TECH PREP—Student interns, such as the young man above, develop valuable career skills handling much of the IT support at Leyden 212 High School District near Chicago.

Whether it’s a small district with just a few schools or a mammoth operation that spends billions of dollars, one thing is certain: getting tech support in the right place at the right time is mission critical.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES—The apprenticeship program at Newport News Public Schools in Virginia puts employees on track for raises and promotions. It can also help them enroll in college.

Managing and keeping track of the many hours of professional development required for a district’s non-instructional staff may be one of an administrator’s more underappreciated responsibilities.

For most school districts, internet filters are crucial for complying with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires restricting students from accessing inappropriate online content.

Filtering also allows districts to manage limited bandwidth.

Below are a list of internet filtering providers:


Link to main story: Digital gatekeepers for K12


Blocksi, blocksi.net

Steven Langford,  CIO, Beaverton School District (Ore.)

Here are five crucial decisions to make in developing best practices for the wide variety of internet filters—and your options for using them—in K12 schools.

AI will also have a big impact on network and data security.

The best way to keep a school’s computers free of malware while securing student and teacher identities is to use a layered approach powered by artificial intelligence in the cloud.

Just about every antivirus program has three overlapping defenses:


Link to main story: AI accelerates in K12


Schools should create student contracts in the classroom and develop device-usage guidelines that clarify “good behaviors.” (Gettyimages.com: jesadphorn).

Nearly 30 percent of U.S. high school students admitted to using a connected device to cheat on a classroom exam or project, according to a recent survey.

During the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2017 this past summer, analyst Earl Perkins, research vice president, explained four top trends. (Gettyimages.com: hywards).

Before this new school year started, the Hartford Union High School District in Wisconsin wanted to hire a tech expert to oversee the district’s network.

School leaders want more autonomy on how they access and report data. They also have more assets to keep track of when they shift to 1-to-1 learning or other programs that provide students with tech devices.

Many states lack well-defined computer science standards; others don’t count computer science courses toward core graduation requirements. And in many districts, computer science courses aren’t reaching enough students.

Fast disappearing from schools are internet “lock and block” policies that keep students off social media and restrict them to carefully curated websites. Even with sophisticated filters and firewalls, today’s learners carry all the access in the world in their back pockets.

By combining the plumbing of the internet with heavy-duty encryption, a VPN can help keep a district’s secrets. Under the surface, VPNs use a technique known as tunneling to create an encrypted data path from sender to receiver and back.

How a VPN sidetracks the internet, keeping the data at your school secure.

Schools thrive on free and open exchanges of information, but as soon as a principal reviews attendance records or examines student grades held on a district server, that openness must end.

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