How to Secure the Work-From-Home Environment

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EdTech Café

EdTech Cafe
 Standford EdTech (Author)
EdTech Café is a podcast series produced by the educational technology team at Stanford Medicine.

Working from home is part of the new normal for K–12 schools and districts. How can IT managers secure teachers and staff in online environments? Here are some questions and answers.

What’s the Biggest Security Risk?

End users remain the biggest security vulnerability — and educators are naturally more curious, open minded and excited to try new things, making them information security’s worst nightmare. Applying technical protections — such as setting strong anti-phishing on email and installing centrally managed endpoint security tools — certainly helps, but technology alone won’t top a good dose of quality, targeted end-user training and an easy-to-reach online help desk staffed for as many hours a day as the district can afford. An investment in reducing the risk of end-user compromise delivers the biggest bang for the buck.

Should Schools Supply Desktops and Laptops?

The key to security is good controls, and the best way to achieve that is by owning everything from the software down to the boot ROM. Now is not the time to rush a BYOD program into production, especially given other stresses on teachers to learn new tools and ways of interacting with students. Giving teachers and staff hardware that has been qualified and put under central management delivers a better IT experience overall by ensuring that corporate tools will run smoothly. The security bonus pays for itself every time the district avoids a data breach or having a teacher offline for a day unable to work because of a compromised system.

How to Secure the Work-From-Home Environment
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