K-12 CyberSecurity

Scott Adamson
2 min readOct 24, 2019

Technology does not stop, and education is often a place where security is relaxed and informal. In what ways can data and security be implemented to minimize exposure, limit vulnerability and understand what may be happening daily in an ever-changing environment?

Education (ironically enough) is informal and infrequent throughout the community. Training (especially around technology) is limited at best and most professional development is focused on the classroom and student needs. The importance of this is not the question, the need to prioritize and garner engagement in security is critical.

Technology tools are paramount to provide visibility and information into issues in real-time but the ability to understand and respond to issues fall short due to technical training or limited regular use and the daily priorities and focus fall on the support of the end-user technologies and classroom support.

Friends leverages tools from Cisco, DarkTrace, Splunk, and others to provide front-line and end-point protection of the environment protecting the institution largely from the nasty items crawling around on the internet.

For those interested, the 35,000’ view looks something like this:
Cisco Umbrella monitors all DNS requests through the network
Cisco ASA & Firepower monitor the edge for known issues or attacks
Institutional devices used in the community run Cisco Umbrella & Cisco AMP
Virtual servers run AMP & Umbrella for their protection
Barracuda runs backups from servers and shares locally & to the cloud
AWS supports critical servers & share replication
DarkTrace monitors the systems for anomalies throughout the network
Netwrix looks for unusual activity on the network & file shares
BetterCloud monitors GSuite for the domain looking for files with DLP tags
Splunk captures as much log data as possible for followup as needed
Zendesk captures community requests for response & resolution
Asana & ToDoist are used to try & provide task/project/management sanity

The tools above are all fantastic and believe we are on or beyond the cutting edge when it comes to the technology at our disposal. The challenge will always be maintaining the systems and infrastructure while being prepared for any issues or challenge that may come down the pike at a moment's notice.

Questions about the use or benefit of these tools, let us know. Having strong vendor relationships and support is imperative and maintaining a pulse on the world (especially the education sector) is important. Suggestions about being literate (nevermind proficient) in any of the above tools, let us know.