UncommonX Blog

A Case for 24/7 SOCs in K-12 Schools

With summer break on the horizon, cyber threats are showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, several districts are using the final months of the school year to plan ahead for the growing cyber threat to digital learning environments expected in the fall.

According to the May 2023 CoSN State of EdTech Leadership report, cybersecurity remains respondents’ top priority for the fifth year in a row. However, 66 percent of school districts do not have a full-time cybersecurity position. In this light, the necessity for a 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) becomes a strategic cornerstone for K-12 schools to ensure uninterrupted cybersecurity protection.

This post will delve into how a 24/7 managed SOC, bolstered by Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, can serve as a vigilant guardian of a school's digital environment.

The Critical Role of a 24/7 Managed SOC

A 24/7 managed SOC operates as a dedicated command center that monitors, assesses and responds to cybersecurity threats in real-time, ensuring the safety of sensitive school data and digital assets even when the regular school operations are on pause. It is a key strategy for advancing cyber resilience.

Given the limited availability of IT staff, a 24/7 managed SOC acts as an extension of the school's IT department, providing peace of mind to administrators and staff alike that the school's network and data are being actively protected against cyber threats.

What is needed to set up a 24/7 Managed SOC

  • Assess Current Cybersecurity Posture: Conduct a thorough assessment of your current cybersecurity measures to identify any vulnerabilities or gaps in your defense.
  • Establish 24/7 Threat Monitoring: Ensure you have enough trained security analysts to monitor the SOC around the clock. Include team members or external partners who specialize in rapid managed detection and response (MDR).
  • Heighten community awareness: Make students, faculty and staff aware of the importance of cybersecurity hygiene. Conduct training sessions for all staff on the specific threats and establish a clear communication channel and protocols in the event that an incident occurs.

By addressing these key areas, schools and educational institutions can establish a SOC that is well-prepared to protect against cyber threats, ensuring that students and staff have a safe and secure digital environment.

When to Engage an External Partner

Implementing a 24/7 managed SOC requires meticulous planning, the latest in cybersecurity technology and experienced security analysts familiar with the challenges facing today’s K-12 digital learning environments. For example, when a school district customer experienced a ransomware attack, the immediate visibility delivered by UncommonX and its 24/7 SOC found where the attack started and sped up the start of remediation.

UncommonX 24/7 Managed SOC Advantages

Does Your School Have Complete Visibility?

The advent of summer break should not leave K-12 schools vulnerable to cyber threats. Setting up a 24/7 Managed SOC, enhanced with MDR services, is a proactive measure that schools can take to gain complete visibility and optimum cybersecurity.

This approach ensures that schools have continuous, expert-led cybersecurity protection. By partnering with UncommonX, schools can focus on learning with the assurance that their digital learning environments are safe and secure.

The commitment of UncommonX to safeguarding educational institutions remains unwavering. Explore the comprehensive protection UncommonX offers school districts here or reach out to hello@uncommonx.com to learn more.

About the Author

SOC Team of Security Experts - At the center of our U.S.-based Security Operations Center (SOC) is a distinctly skilled team of security architects, engineers, analysts, and data scientists. Each is an expert in their respective field and dedicated to protecting our customers 24/7.

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