Protecting Students with Safe Schools

Posted by ConvergeOne on Oct 20, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Campus Security

We ask our educators to do a lot. The threat of school violence on campus and from remote sources has district decision-makers needing answers. Risks need to be identified, with consideration given to protecting the student wherever they are. Security needs to be conducted in a way that doesn’t feel like a prison. What’s more, innovation with physical security provide new feature sets only possible on IP networks ⏤ meaning that IT teams now have partial or new responsibility for physical security. ConvergeOne coordinates a mix of digital applications to shield against/respond to threats and other hazards. Key areas of focus include:

  • Surveillance tools that provide situational awareness of digital and physical perimeters, and the data necessary to respond to threats

  • Collaboration tools that guide school personnel, first responders, and others through critical decision-making in an emergency – including confirmation that it is an emergency ⏤ and provide instruction to those affected

  • Emergency notification, from overhead paging to digital signage, SMS, and app-based push notification tools, as well as “background” alerts to automate and quicken response when every second counts

  • For educational institutions that are ready to take the next step, we can introduce safety innovations built on the network; for instance, facial recognition and/or weapons detection that doesn’t require a metal detector

We make these digital transitions easy for schools by building the engines that reliably power these new capabilities. We take care of the intricacies of networking, implementation of wireless and telephony systems, and technology procurement through trusted partner relationships.

Cybersecurity

Education ranks among the top two targets for cybersecurity threats. More than 500 U.S. schools were hit with ransomware in 2019 alone, but the threat doesn’t stop there. We're committed to protecting student data and student identities. We see how lucrative these things are when they’re sold and marketed in the dark web. It's not just about opening up fraudulent lines of credit; it's medical records, too. We're not just protecting the student from physical threats. We're caring for the whole student.

ConvergeOne helps school districts stay ahead of the threat by exploring opportunities on several fronts. For a California school district with 27,000+ students, ConvergeOne implemented a comprehensive assessment and workshop to design and deliver an environment with security, sustainability, and real student outcomes. Requirements included the ability to support 30,000+ simultaneous users, district-wide attendance applications for increased funding through accurate ADA, teacher mobility, and ubiquitous connectivity.

Another prominent school district consisting of 26,000 students on 30 campuses saw neighboring districts being targeted for ransomware attacks. As a proactive measure, district leaders called ConvergeOne intending to build a clean, reliable “data repository of last resort.” We began with a Ransomware Readiness Workshop, Potential Damage Assessment and Day Zero Attack Scenario to clarify their needs and assess their infrastructure. Based on these findings, we were able to develop a Cyber Recovery Business Case perfectly rightsized for their enterprise and budget. The plan was approved by the school board and deployed within a swift two months. The client continues to remain safe from cyberattack.

Additional examples of ConvergeOne offerings include:

  • Industry-leading workshop and assessment of network infrastructure, cybersecurity, collaboration tools, policies, and processes

  • Guidance for leveraging NIST and CIS frameworks for proven success in protecting essential data and uptime

  • Inventory of potential data loss should total cyber-encryption occur

  • Day-Zero attack analysis across widening perimeters

  • Cost comparison of a complete system rebuild with/without a cyber recovery system

  • Development of a Cyber Recovery Vault, a fully isolated on-premises data center for “saferoom” repository/recovery and immutable backup replica repository

  • Creation of runbook and simulated cyber recovery event for staff training

  • Development of governance procedures

Social

"People who do not believe that their children could ever become victimized online are living in an unrealistic world." – Melissa Morrow, Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI

What happens online affects our schools, dragging face-to-face confrontations onto campuses, and even keeping kids from attending and achieving. Cyber bullying takes many familiar forms, including gossip, exclusion, as well as dangerous activities like impersonation, harassment, and “cyberstalking,” without escape as they take place right on a student’s device at all hours of the day.

Three out of four students say they've experienced cyber bullying, and it overlaps with stats about mental health and self-harm. Again, we're caring for the whole students, not just when they're on campus.

Nothing can replace a loving parent, attentive teacher, or counselor, but any district with a 1:1 or take-home program that’s putting a device in students’ hands needs to have a response. At ConvergeOne, we provision well over 100K devices for students and teachers every year. Our districts consider training and parent enablement on the issues, as well as solutions that can provide alerts when something looks like cyber bullying online.

Frank DeAngelis, the acclaimed motivational speaker and principal during the Columbine High school tragedy, reminds us, “The building’s important, but it’s the people and students that make the school.” We need to care for the whole student at campus and online, where even social media events can act as a precursor to school violence.

ConvergeOne can help with:

  • Sustainable student 1:1 device deployments to help educational teams deliver the right student experiences

  • Cloud solutions for creating accountability and cyber responsibility on district-provided devices

  • Data points for school counselors to interact with at-risk students based on digital behaviors or online keywords

  • Content-filtered and compliant online experiences across a variety of on-campus or remote connections

  • Tools for teachers to guide student use of technology during class time—even when the students are socially distanced at home!



KEEP STUDENTS SAFE WITH THE LATEST CAPABILITIES

Keeping students safe—whether on the physical school campus or while engaged in distance learning—is critically important. ConvergeOne provides solutions to shore up physical security, digital security, and other external threats.
Learn More About Our Safe School Expertise

Topics: Security, Cybersecurity, Remote Working, Modern Classroom, K-12 Education