The past couple of years has been difficult for just about everyone. Educational Institutions have had to adapt and evolve to survive in an ever-changing climate. There’s no telling when or even if things will go back to what we once thought was “normal.” As we enter a New Year, many principals are putting their resolutions in place to survive and hopefully thrive in 2022.
Principals will focus on plans for growth as their resolution, but don't forget to include tech- and IT-related resolutions as well. The use of technology might not seem like a natural way to grow a school but contributes to the feeling of security that students, parents, and faculty share when interacting with one another.
Here are a few tech-related resolutions that we think can greatly improve any school.
Use Multiple Layers Of Cyber Security Protection
No security approach covers every hole or flaw that cyber security threats are looking to exploit. The best way to keep your defenses protected is to put in place multiple approaches to cover every possible gap. By using a variety of programs and layers, you will ensure that every individual component of your cyber security program has a backup to counter any issues.
Your first line of defense should be a firewall. Firewalls help monitor incoming and outgoing traffic and work as a barrier between networks you trust and don’t trust. They essentially shield you from malicious or unnecessary network traffic. Multifactor authentication is an important layer as well. This prevents cyber-attacks that come from weak or compromised passwords. With multifactor authentication, you, your faculty, and your staff may have to receive a text to your cell phones to prove that the correct person is trying to access the network. This will help prevent the use of faculty and staff passwords to gain access to sensitive information.
Back-Up Your Data And Replace Old Equipment
Unfortunately, preventive measures don’t always work. An unexpected disaster could cause your network to go down or someone could accidentally delete some important files. Plus, if your data is not backed up, you could lose sensitive information as well as time and money down the road. Parents will also be upset if you lose information about them or their kids. This could devastate your school’s reputation and cost you, students. If you do not have a backup plan or program in place, you should get one for 2022.
In addition to backup plans, it’s important to have up-to-date equipment. Using slow and outdated technology can take away productivity and will make your job more difficult. If some of your equipment goes down, think about replacing it with something new rather than repairing it. While it might be more expensive at first, this decision will save you time and money in the long run. Federal programs like E-rate might help in getting new technology for schools.
Employee Security Training
For a cyber security-aware school, you will need to train your faculty and staff in security awareness and foster a culture that ensures information security. Providing your team with training related to information security can make them more comfortable and confident in their decision-making and overall performance. This rubs off on the parents and makes them feel comfortable with the school. According to information from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, human error is to blame for 90% of cyber data breaches. Getting your staff trained in cyber security awareness can help reduce the chance of human error.
As you layout plans to make your school more successful throughout 2022 and beyond, ensure that your tech and information security practices are updated. There are simply no downsides to improving your technology and cyber security. Adopting these practices can go a long way toward making your faculty and staff feel more comfortable and confident in their decisions.