K12 Records Resources

March 08, 2024

Why Cybersecurity is Essential for K-12 School System IT Leaders


In today's digital world, cybersecurity has become an important aspect of managing any IT infrastructure. And it's not just businesses and individuals that are at risk, but also the education sector. Technological advancements have made it possible for school systems to provide online learning platforms, access educational resources online, and share sensitive personal and educational information over the internet. As a result, K-12 IT leaders should consider cybersecurity a top priority for their school systems. In this blog post, we will highlight the reasons why cybersecurity is important for K-12 school system IT leaders.

Protecting Sensitive Student and Staff Information:
K-12 school systems store a vast amount of sensitive student and staff information on their systems. This information includes personal data, academic records, financial information, and medical documentation. Hackers can sell this information on the black market to identity thieves, leading to serious consequences for the individuals concerned. School systems must protect this information from unauthorized access by ensuring they have effective cybersecurity measures in place.

Avoiding Disruptions to Learning:
The education industry faces disruptions from cyberattacks that can lead to downtime and halt learning activities. Cyberattacks can result in damage to the IT infrastructure of a school system, making it impossible for students and staff to access important educational resources, files, and documents. K-12 school system IT leaders must prioritize cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and regular system backups to avoid such situations.

Meeting Compliance Requirements:
School systems need to comply with various regulations when it comes to cybersecurity. For instance, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) stipulates that school systems must ensure privacy and security of student data. Similarly, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) outlines the guidelines for the collection and use of personal information about individual students. K-12 IT leaders must make sure to meet these compliance requirements.

Building Trust with Families:
Families and parents want to be sure that their children's personal and sensitive data are secure while using any digital system. Technology leaders should take measures to build trust with families by providing them with transparency and assurance about the cybersecurity measures put in place. This can be achieved through regular communication with families about progress and recommendations for best practices for data safety and protection.

Saving on Costs:
Investing in cybersecurity measures will be a financial investment; however, the cost of data breaches or a ransomware attack can be much more significant. K-12 school system IT leaders must consider the cost of cyberattacks for their organizations' financial future. Investing in managed IT services to provide continuous network monitoring for vulnerabilities, system updates, and proper backups should be embraced as a crucial step in mitigating cybersecurity risks.

In conclusion, K-12 school system technology leaders must realize the importance of cybersecurity and take active measures to ensure safety and security for all students and staff members. By protecting sensitive information, avoiding disruptions to learning, meeting compliance requirements, building trust with families, and saving on costs, schools can ensure smooth operations and minimize the risks of cyber threats. It is essential to implement a comprehensive cybersecurity protocol to protect against today's evolving cybersecurity criminals.


Download our informative guide to ensure necessary security considerations while implementing technology in K-12.