Did you know that 46% of schools untouched by cyberattacks fear they’ll be the next target? Not only are ransom and malware attacks becoming more frequent, they are also growing in sophistication. Both factors have school’s increasingly on edge. In fact, 42% of the aforementioned “untouched” schools now view cyber threats as an inevitable part of today’s digital terrain.
Digital security and privacy are on a lot of K-12 leaders’ minds this school year. Thankfully, Google for Education just released a composite of their best insights and tactics for defending against attacks. The Google for Education K-12 Cybersecurity Guidebook. gives you a roadmap to bolstering your school systems against cyber threats, featuring 6 key recommendations that you can start implementing today!
Use Secure Authentication
Establishing strong user authentication protocols is the first step to a secure digital environment. Schools should emphasize the importance of robust passwords, complemented by measures such as two-factor authentication. Password managers can serve as an effective tool to store and manage these credentials securely.
Apply Appropriate Security Settings
With cyber threats constantly evolving, having an active and adaptable firewall can be a game-changer. While tools like Google for Education come with built-in security features, it's imperative for administrators to review and maximize these settings frequently. A systematic approach, granting users only essential access, can significantly reduce risks.
Update and Upgrade Your Systems
Keeping software and systems updated isn't just about accessing new features; it's an important line of defense against potential cyber threats. Schools should ensure regular system, device, and browser updates to address vulnerabilities and stay ahead of cyber adversaries.
Use Real-Time Alerting and Monitoring Systems
Getting eyes into real time data and information on your digital environment ensures you’re able to identify and act swiftly in case of an incident. Solutions such as security logging, monitoring software, or even tools built into your productivity suite like Google Workspace for Education, let you track activities across your school’s network. With them, you can monitor everything from account logins to phishing attempts to device activity. It’s also critical to keep these tools current to ensure you’re getting the best information on the state of your school’s digital safety.
Unlock privacy and security tools within Google Workspace for Education: Claim a free trial upgrade to Google Workspace for Education Standard or Plus to gain access to the Privacy and Security Center.
Train Teachers, Staff, and Students
Turn your school’s users from “potential vulnerabilities” into your first line of defense! Using ready-made and custom training materials, educate your schools’ teachers, staff, and students with cybersecurity best practices. Teaching everyone using school devices how to operate them safely, share data properly, and identify and report threats can protect your digital environment from some of the most common attacks. Consider integrating digital safety lessons into the curriculum and providing regular training sessions.
Get the Total Guide
And that's just the tip of the iceberg! For an in-depth look of cybersecurity in education, complete with strategies and insights from Google, download the full guide now.