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DPI - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

10/23/2020 | Press release | Archived content

Improve Your School District's Cyber Health

National Cybersecurity Month may be coming to a close, but it is more important than ever to stay vigilant to avoid cyber threats. It is commonly accepted now that it is not a question of if, but when attempts to breach data through a phishing scam, phone scam, or orchestrated campaign will show up in your world.

Just as we take care of our bodies to stay healthy, there are things that can be done to maintain cyber health. The art of staying fit and healthy boils down to some basic habits like exercise, eating right, and getting the proper amount of sleep. If we regularly do little things there is pay-off in the long run. Here are four easy things all school districts can do to improve their cyber health:

  1. Educate: Train staff and keep them informed. It may feel like 'another thing' on the to-do list, but nobody wants to be the one to click on something that brings down the whole network.

  2. Report: Most systems have automated reports to help you identify threats. Pay attention to these reports and read them when they come up. Create an environment that encourages staff to report potential issues.

  3. Monitor: Time can be your best friend during incident response. The faster you respond to an incident, the less harm it can cause. Utilize the systems you have in place to alert you to anomalies so that you can respond quickly.

  4. Prepare: It is not a question of if, it is when. Discuss with your leadership team what cyber insurance is right for your district. When something goes wrong, will you know what to do? Will this process be organized? Take time to create an incident plan to respond. Cyber incident planning should be created and reviewed annually, similar to other disaster recovery plans.

Cyber security is no longer the sole responsibility of school districts' technology departments: it is a shared responsibility and #everyoneslift. You can access recent webinars on the DPI Cyber Security webinar page, and attend the upcoming webinar on how schools can improve cyber security health:

Time: 10:00 AM

Host: Wisconsin DPI Assistant Director of Instructional Technology Services, Ed Snow

Panelist: Data Security Advisor for the U.S. Department of Education Privacy Technical Assistance Center Mike Tassey.

To Attend: Use this link

For more information, visit cisa.gov/ncsam and the DPI Cyber Security web page.