As Ransomware Attacks Rise, How Should K-12 Schools Evaluate Network Security?

July 21, 2023
Mike Matranga


Chris Caruso, COO and CTO of M6 Global Defense, sheds light on the significance of network security in schools, considering the alarming rise in ransomware attacks targeting K-12 institutions nationwide. Protecting the network is crucial, and implementing key security measures doesn’t have to be expensive.

Chris emphasizes the importance of authentication as the first line of defense. Multi-factor authentication, such as utilizing radius buttons in Google or Windows 365 systems, ensures that only authorized individuals access the network. By requiring secondary verification, like passwords or biometrics, schools can enhance network security significantly.

Updating software and patching vulnerabilities is the next critical step. Ensuring that all devices operating on the network have up-to-date firmware and software prevents exploitable weaknesses that could lead to major security breaches.

Another essential aspect is implementing an incident response plan (IRP). Chris highlights the significance of testing and proper implementation of the IRP. Post-event incidents have revealed the consequences of lacking a plan or neglecting its testing, resulting in valuable time wasted. Detecting unauthorized access promptly and taking immediate action to lock down the network is crucial. Having fresh backups in place aids in business continuity and disaster recovery, protecting against data encryption or ransomware attempts.

Furthermore, network administrators and IT professionals should engage with school management, students, staff, and administrators to identify critical areas and determine their specific needs for uninterrupted services. Understanding the crown jewels of the school system ensures a swift recovery and minimizes disruptions to educational activities.

In conclusion, safeguarding network security in schools is vital. Multi-factor authentication, software updates, and a robust incident response plan protect data and ensure uninterrupted education. Prioritizing network security mitigates risks and creates a safe digital environment for all.

For More Soundbites and Full Length SecurED Podcasts!

Recent Episodes

student suicide prevention
View episode

  Student suicide prevention is a paramount concern among mental health providers. For one organization, student suicide prevention is more than a concern: it’s their mission. The alarming rise in mental health crises among youth has become a pressing concern in recent times. With the complexities of modern life and the challenges of the digital […]

Secure Schools Begin with Empowered & Trained Staff
View episode

  In a recent segment of SecurED, hosted by Mike Matranga, CEO of M6 Global Defense, and featuring Marshall Caplan, Senior Security Consultant at M6 Global Defense, the conversation delves extensively into the vital subject of school security. This engaging discussion centers on the reevaluation of priorities within the realm of school safety and security, […]

View episode

Today, more than ever, it is essential to have some fun and humor at school. Regardless if you’re a student, a teacher, or an administrator, we all need a good laugh as we face many changes in education. At Summit K12, we are having fun creating the most personalized curriculum for the Texas Science Adoption in […]