The Cybersecurity Implications of Reopening Schools

Published: May 3, 2021Episode #11
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K-12 schools and school districts should already be upping their cybersecurity game with the recent rise in data breaches and ransomware attacks on campus networks. It was particularly challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, with most schools switching to distance learning or hybrid-learning models.

Campus Safety Voices, available on Spotify and Apple streaming platforms, features timely conversations on a wide range of topics affecting K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and healthcare facilities.

But what’s the cybersecurity landscape going to be now that students are returning to campus? That’s the question CS sister publication, MyTechDecisions.com, asked John Shier, senior security advisor at cybersecurity firm Sophos.

In this podcast, TD Web Editor Zachary Comeau talked with Shier about how campuses can safely reintroduce devices that have been at home since the start of the pandemic back to school networks.

Already, schools are increasingly targeted by malicious cyber actors, and U.S. agencies are warning K-12 institutions about an uptick in ransomware, data theft and other attack methods.

Shier advocates for a careful and methodical approach to bringing devices back onto the school’s main networks. Steps should include setting up a separate network for those devices and running deep scans for malware or other signs of compromise.

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