An airtight incident response plan can make a big difference, says Charlie Sander, CEO of cloud data security firm ManagedMethods. “The goal of your incident response plan is to enable a fast and effective response to a cybersecurity incident,” he says.
Marlo Gaddis, CTO for the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina, agrees, and is leaving nothing to chance.
“We know that in a time of crisis, you need to have a game plan,” she says. “What’s your first step, and what will you do next? Who will you need to contact right away, and how are you going to reach them?”
Gaddis notes that Wake County is working on its own incident response plan, but not because the district lacks a clear strategy for what to do when an attack happens.
When Faced with an Attack, Will Your Shields Hold?
As K–12 IT leaders everywhere squash one cyberthreat after another, many K–12 IT experts come to the same conclusion: The only way to win this fight is to go beyond basic incident response planning.
“The goal is to get as close as you can to making sure that nothing bad ever happens,” says David Banks, director of network services at Crandall Independent School District in Texas. “But you also have to realize that something will happen, and there are things you can do now to be prepared.”
Banks says Crandall revised its own incident response plan last spring in the wake of several security breaches in nearby districts. He and his colleague Amber Teamann, director of technology and innovation, started the process by hiring a consultant to conduct a comprehensive security assessment.