IT | Security

5 Steps to Securing Your School’s Devices Over the Holiday Break

By: Surita Bains | 12/16/2019

Much to the delight of students, faculty and administrators everywhere, holiday break is almost here! But they aren’t the only ones eagerly anticipating end of semester school closings: criminals are also waiting for campus shutdowns so they can take advantage of the valuable technology now commonplace in schools, from K-12 to colleges and universities.

Before taking off for the semester break, follow these easy steps to ensure your school’s devices and students are safe:

  1. Remind users of safe behavior. Students, faculty and staff that take devices with them should be reminded (more than once) not to leave their individual or school-owned laptops or tablets in cars or other places where they can be easily spotted by crooks looking for an easy score. If someone does fall victim to theft or loses a device during the break, be sure to make available clear direction for course of action you expect. Who do they notify and how?
  2. Update device software. Cyber criminals are equally as troublesome this time of year, with holiday phishing emails putting school networks at grave risk for cyberattack. Use the holiday downtime to push updates to device software and patch known vulnerabilities. If this sounds like an overwhelming task, consider relying on automation for help.
  3. Track your devices. If a device does go rogue, you have a very vulnerable attack vector. Key to mitigating this risk is uncompromised visibility and control over the device, whether it’s on or off the network. Being able to quickly locate a missing or stolen device means you can remotely shut down unwanted network access and, if all goes well with law enforcement’s help, even retrieve stolen devices.
  4. Store devices in locked cabinets and/or alarmed areas. It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many laptops, tablets, virtual reality headsets, digital cameras and other small-sized tech gadgets can be left lying around. This type of tech is in high demand and easy to swipe so make it harder for the thieves and keep everything under lock and key.
  5. Don’t leave technology in plain sight. While a determined thief will break in regardless, you can prevent your school becoming victimized by someone who otherwise may not have considered pilfering your school’s tech. Remove from view or cover any larger equipment like desktop computers, printers, interactive whiteboards, and other tech that will be left behind.

Technology in our schools enable modern learning paths and brings a new level of innovation to the classroom. But it must be protected. You can safeguard your investment – not to mention your students, teachers and administration along with their  data – with the Absolute platform. In the event of loss or theft, you can remotely detect and remediate devices to prevent potential security issues and ensure compliance.

To learn how Klein Independent School District in Klein, Texas tracks, manages, repairs and recovers devices in their 1:1 computing program, download the case study.