T.H.E. Focus :: February 14, 2008

The State of School Security

As reported in the T.H.E. Journal article, "Research: Benchmarks for School Safety" (July 2007), a survey conducted of 381 public school district IT and security directors by CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G), highlighted what districts were doing well and what they could be doing better to protect their schools--in the areas of "cyber safety" and physical safety. Key findings from the survey:

  • too much reliance on technical solutions and not enough on education
  • risks to IT security because of proxy servers
  • dependence on the telephone (as opposed to Email) for communication during emergencies
  • limited budgets, staff resources, and outdated or ill-fitted security tools

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Assessing School Security

How safe is your school? And what does it mean to be safe, anyway? A new School Safety Index, produced by CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G), seeks to identify where schools and school districts can make improvements in protecting their communities from intruders--the electronic kind as well as the human kind.

CDW-G conducted a survey of schools and found a variety of vulnerabilities--some as a result of inadequate electronic safeguards but even more as a result of inadequate human safeguards, such as limited budgets, lack of resources, or insufficient training of staff and students. In many cases, schools were unaware of just how vulnerable they were. CDW-G hopes that using the School Safety Index--with sections on cyber security and physical security--will help to remedy that.

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