Compliance And Cybersecurity for K-12 Schools

Compliance And Cybersecurity – Why Both Are Important

In Cybersecurity, Education by Ken Nero

In the world of K-12 education, you’ll inevitably hear about the many ways to beef up your cybersecurity to ensure the safety of your staff and student data. However, another term is often heard when discussing cybersecurity: compliance. It’s not talked about as often, but both cybersecurity and compliance are essential for any school.

Compliance helps keep your critical data protected, and this compliance is fulfilled when schools prove that their cybersecurity practices meet specific security regulations and standards set by third parties like government agencies. Compliance is not optional; all schools must meet these requirements to protect sensitive information. Failure to meet compliance requirements results in fines, penalties and even legal ramifications. One cybersecurity breach can permanently damage your school’s reputation.

While cybersecurity and compliance sound fairly similar, there is a slight difference between them. Compliance is often driven by organizational needs rather than technical needs, whereas security is driven by the need to protect against constant threats. If you want to maximize your school’s cybersecurity practices, then you’ll need to go further.

Overall, compliance and cybersecurity should work hand in hand. Your initial cybersecurity plan should be based on compliance. You must know the standard requirements to remain compliant and put the necessary practices in place to achieve that status. You should be specific so your team knows exactly what is needed to protect your organization.

You also need to document your practices as frequently as possible. You should create a paper trail of everything you have done to stay compliant as well as your added cybersecurity practices. It can also help to add potential audits and any frequency-bound events to your calendar so you don’t get blindsided or miss something important.

After you’ve gathered all of your evidence and put your cybersecurity and compliance protocols to work, you can automate many of your reports. That way, you won’t have to dig and pull data yourself in the future.

While it might seem like a lot of work to ensure your school remains compliant, there are companies out there can help. IKON’s Managed IT Services for K-12 Schools go above and beyond to ensure your cybersecurity is bulletproof. While we are taking care of all of your IT needs, we are also ensuring your school remains compliant with any third-party governing bodies such as USAC and eRate. New cybersecurity threats are introduced every day, and only with strong cybersecurity and compliance practices can you ensure your school is protected for the foreseeable future.