Unit 2 – Task – Question 1

the Difference Between Cyber Safety and Cybersecurity

Fundamentally, cyber safety focuses on people while cybersecurity involves information.

Cyber safety uses technology to help protect the physical and emotional well being of students, faculty, and staff on campus. These tools focus on protecting students from viewing explicit or violent content on school networks and computers, and from bullying and other inappropriate behavior. These tools monitor domains and content through filters to keep students safe and will alert teachers or staff when intervention is necessary.

Cybersecurity protects school technology infrastructure, such as networks, computers, cloud applications, and data from cyber attacks. Think hackers getting personal information like social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, etc… There are many reasons why schools need cybersecurity. It protects students and staff information from identity theft and secures information that districts are held liable for, such as health information covered under HIPAA.

Cybersecurity also ensures classroom continuity. When a school’s network goes down due to hacking, such as a denial of service attack, teachers and students can’t access their materials stored in the cloud. Sometimes this may only last minutes, but in some cases can last days.

What Does Cyber Safety Technology Do?

Gone are the days when a student rides the bus home and leaves school behind for the day. Students are constantly connected to friends, classmates, teachers, and coaches. They carry school with them everywhere they go on their phones, iPads, Chromebooks, etc… Today’s connected students are under constant pressure and, unfortunately, now bring the bullying home with them. They experience personal safety and mental health pressures in and out of school that we never dealt with as children.

Because staff can’t be everywhere at once, some great cyber safety solutions have been developed to help. Solutions like GaggleGoGaurdianBark, and Securly are the leaders in bringing campus safety technology to K-12 schools. Using data science, machine learning and pattern matching technologies, campus safety management tools provide visibility into emails, documents, shared files, images, photos and more. Some solutions, such as Gaggle, provide trained support staff to monitor red flags and notify school administrators and/or emergency personnel directly if needed.

For example, a student sends an email with the word “suicide” from their school computer, an alert is raised. Staff can then investigate the alert, and take appropriate action. Considering the current issues in campus safety, most would agree that being able to intervene before a dangerous situation happens is a good thing.

Security Gaps in Cyber Safety

Cyber safety is important to the security of students, staff, and faculty. But the technology doesn’t cover the same threats and compliance issues that cybersecurity does. School districts need cybersecurity to protect important data like personally identifiable information from malware and phishing schemes, or even accidental sharing of information. Even something as simple as a staff member or student clicking on a spam link puts an entire school district at risk.

Further, most cyber safety solutions only cover school hardware, like Chromebooks. This means that violent, explicit, and inappropriate behavior happening on personal devices (such as smartphones and home computers) connected to school G Suite and/or Office 365 accounts may not be caught by existing filters.

To truly keep students and staff safe, IT security admins also need a cybersecurity strategy that includes cloud application security. A multi-layer approach can help schools cover campus safety and cybersecurity, while being cost-effective. This allows schools to keep up with regulations when it comes to personally identifiable information while keeping students and teachers safe.

Securing School Information From Cyber Attacks

cloud security and cyber safety architectureDon’t wait until a breach happens. Gaps in your security infrastructure will cause a PR nightmare for a school and lead to significant, unexpected expenses. Not to mention the damages to those involved whose personal information is stolen. And, with so many schools adopting cloud technologies for both student and administration purposes, including cloud security is critical. While your G Suite and Office 365 applications do have some native security built in, the functionality is limited and requires expensive upgrades.

This is where ManagedMethods come in. We make protecting sensitive data in the cloud easy for system administrators. Our K-12 customers love that they can protect sensitive personal information, block malware, and quarantine inappropriate content in district cloud environments all from one, easy-to-use platform. ManagedMethods provides some overlap with your content filtering and/or campus safety management platforms, with the added ability to monitor and secure sensitive data stored in the cloud.

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