School Safety 2020: Managing Both Physical Safety and Cybersecurity

School Safety 2020: Managing Both Physical Safety and Cybersecurity

When it comes to school safety, most people think about the physical safety of students and staff on school campuses. Without question, preparing for and preventing incidents of school violence is critical for school administrators. According to the non-profit Educator’s School Safety Network, there were 3,380 threats and incidents of violence reported in K-12 schools in the 2017-2018 school year, up 62% from the previous year. While preparing students, staff, and campuses for a physical attack is crucial, administrators must also focus increased energy and resources on preparing for and preventing a cybersecurity attack.

The eSchool News K-12 School Safety Guide, explains that schools are often targets of cybercriminals because they house an “abundance of personally-identifiable information (PII) on students and staff.” The K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center reports that there have been 688 publicly-disclosed cybersecurity incidents involving U.S. public schools since 2016. Breaches or hacks, ransomware attacks, or other cyber incidents can disrupt school operations, result in unauthorized disclosures of data, and cost schools a significant amount of money. As teaching and learning becomes more digital, school networks become more susceptible to cyberattacks, and school leaders are urged to be more proactive in protecting sensitive data and their networks.

Preventing Cyberattacks

School technology administrators and security teams must focus on creating and maintaining a well-designed security architecture to prevent cyberattacks, utilize monitoring solutions to quickly identify and address attacks against their institution’s network, and continually monitor the stability of their networks and technology solutions. In addition, as teachers and students use more technologies in the classroom, and since many cybersecurity breaches occur because of poor security practices, staff and students must be educated on the types of cyberattacks, where they can come from, and how to prevent them.

How SafeSchools Can Help – More than Just Compliance Training

Thousands of K-12 administrators trust SafeSchools Training to help manage and deliver important staff training to help comply with important state and federal mandates, including OSHA, Title IX, Mandatory Reporting, FERPA, and more.  But with hundreds of expert-authored courses, SafeSchools Training offers much more than just compliance training, including an entire section of courses focused on Information Technology.

Key SafeSchools Training courses that can help your staff understand their important role in preventing a cybersecurity attack include:

Courses are authored by veteran K-12 technology expert, Pete Just, who has served as the Chief Technology Officer at MSD Wayne Township in Indiana for over 10 years.

Our new SafeSchools Training Student Courses solution also includes a course focused on Digital Citizenship for students in grades 9-12, with a course for students in grades 6-8 coming in early 2020.

A Full Suite to Help Manage Safety in Your District 

In addition to online training, the SafeSchools Suite includes solutions to help you prevent and manage safety incidents across your campuses.

  • Anonymous Tip Reporting – Students, staff, and parents can confidentially report tips and safety concerns, including bullying, harassment, mental health concerns, weapons and threats of violence to administration 24/7 via mobile app, phone, text, email, and website. Staff are immediately notified of tips and can immediately follow up, bring in law enforcement if necessary, and manage incidents to resolution.
  • Incident Management – Administrators can efficiently collect, manage, analyze and act upon comprehensive student and employee incident data. Efficiently manage safety incidents, injuries, and accidents for employees, students, and visitors in one centralized system.

To learn more about any of our K-12 safety solutions to help you manage both physical safety and cybersecurity in 2020, please contact us at info@safeschools.com, 1-800-434-0154, or request a free trial.