Apr 25 2017

3 Tips to Defend Against Cyberattacks

How schools can prepare for a variety of attacks.

These days, more K–12 schools are having to defend themselves from rapidly changing cybersecurity threats, like direct denial of service (DDoS) attacks that occur during state-wide testing.

1. Hire a chief security officer. Districts face so many threats today, from DDoS attacks to hackers, that it’s important to have a CSO oversee the district’s security posture, says Deborah Karcher, Miami-Dade County Public Schools CIO.

2. Develop a relationship with your ISP. If the DDoS attack is large enough, you can’t mitigate it by yourself. Many internet service providers offer DDoS mitigation services, but if yours doesn’t, then consider hiring a third-party mitigation expert, says Edward McAuliff, chief information security officer at Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

3. Subscribe to multiple ISPs for redundancy. If it takes time to mitigate an attack, you can route all the district traffic from the ISP that’s under attack to another ISP to keep the network up and running, says Jeff McCune, network analyst at the St. Charles Community Unit School District 303.


For more on dealing with DDoS attacks, read the Spring 2017 magazine feature.


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