Is your school prepared for a cyberattack?

Take this 10-minute quiz to learn how you can improve your school’s security

by Dennis Pierce

When you’re developing or evaluating a school security plan, it’s critical to understand your specific needs.

AT&T offers a free cybersecurity readiness assessment that can help K-12 and higher-education IT leaders plan for better network security.

Developed in conjunction with IDC, the online self-assessment tool should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The quiz consists of 15 questions covering topics such as:

1. Overall strategy

The cybersecurity readiness tool asks how you would characterize your approach to IT security.

Do you deal with threats or attacks to your schools’ network on an ad-hoc basis? Or, do you try to understand current threats and build a cybersecurity infrastructure to counter them?

Do you depend on outside experts for help, or do you rely on in-house expertise? What percentage of your schools’ IT budget is devoted to security—and how much do you expect this will increase next year?

2. Security technologies currently in place

The security section focuses on the technologies you currently use or plan to deploy in the next 12 months, such as:

  • Networks
  • Endpoint and web security tools
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) defense
  • Threat detection and mitigation services
  • Cloud security gateway systems

3. Cybersecurity processes

The process-related questions cover how often your schools perform an end-to-end security review, and how many of these reviews lead to substantive changes in your cybersecurity plan or policies.

It also asks how often you have a third-party risk assessment by conducting a penetration test, and how often you update your IT security solutions to take advantage of the latest technologies.

4. Staff education

The “people” section asks to what extent you engage in cybersecurity awareness or training of district employees, such as educators and administrators.

Do you offer one-time training, or ongoing training opportunities? Have you established a top-down culture of IT security awareness and best practices?

The cybersecurity readiness tool also asks you to rate the level of attention the senior (non-IT) executive in your school system, college, or university pay to network security.

Evaluation

Once you have completed the self-assessment, you’ll receive a report that evaluates your current state of cybersecurity readiness and offers concrete strategies for improvement.

The report rates your readiness as Passive, Reactive, Proactive, or Progressive. It should be the goal of every school district or campus IT leader to score at least as Proactive on the assessment.

How does your school system, college, or university compare?

  • Take the assessment here to find out, and learn the next steps you should take to help improve your security.

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