Cyber Tools to Strengthen Your District’s Security

Washington, DC
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Washington, DC (October 8, 2013) – October marks the 10th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today reminded K-12 technology leaders of its resources aimed at helping to protect against threats to critical systems. Part of CoSN’s Cyber Security for the Digital District initiative, the resources include a self-assessment checklist, a cyber rubric and a district-wide action plan, as well as EdTechNext Reports on bolstering security and managing risks.

“Today’s constant cyber threats can have devastating, crippling effects on our school systems. October is an ideal time to explore CoSN’s cyber security tools, which help school system leaders analyze what security systems are in place, determine if they are up-to-date and assess how they can be improved to mitigate dangers,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Our tools offer districts greater insight and actionable steps to reduce these risks while advancing technology’s role in teaching and learning. Only a robust, current IT security system can help safeguard against cyber threats to a school’s technology infrastructure and data assets.”

Designed for sequential use, CoSN’s self-assessment checklist, cyber security rubric and security action plan, or planning template, focus on four critical infrastructure components: management, technology, business continuity and stakeholder / end-user.

  1. The self-assessment checklist is a multipart 100-point scale that evaluates district security goals, plans and overall implementation across the four critical infrastructure components.
  2. The cyber security rubric then charts the categorized scores on three descriptive levels and provides districts with detailed explanations of their respective security infrastructure.
  3. As the final step, the security planning template allows districts to note current status of security measures, required immediate and near-future actions, budget capabilities and plans for upcoming school years.

Together, these three tools allow district leaders to begin developing and implementing more comprehensive cyber security plans and protocols.

CoSN’s two EdTechNext Reports examine the security and privacy risks associated to network connections and personal devices. Published earlier this year, the report, titled “Security and Privacy of Cloud Computing,” covers the privacy, security and regulatory compliance impact of Software as a Service (SaaS), including the risks and realities and considerations for managing dangers. The 2012 report, titled “Safe & Secure? Managing the Risks of Personal Devices,” takes a look at how to safeguard a district’s students, staff, devices and IT infrastructure in the context of mobile learning and bring your own device initiatives.

CoSN’s cyber security initiative is sponsored by Gartner, Lenovo and Microsoft. The self-assessment checklist, cyber rubric and district-wide action plan are available for free this month at:

CoSN’s EdTechNext Reports are only available to CoSN members. For media contacts interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the tools, please contact Michael Kaplun at or Jennifer Cummings at

To learn more about the resources or to become a member of CoSN, visit


About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit or call 866-267-08747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam.