Cybersecurity, Education Technology

EdTech Talks: A Comprehensive Look at Security in Education for Safe Learning Environments

Emerging technologies today are providing K-12 schools and higher education institutions with the capabilities to support seamless and secure campus efforts, which ensures protection of academic environments as well as students, faculty and staff. Remaining vigilant, versatile and adaptable in the current education landscape, especially when it comes to security and student safety, are the most important considerations for education leadership when deciding what new solutions and integrations to incorporate into their schools.

Carahsoft’s annual EdTech Talks Summit brought together industry and education thought leaders to explore three tactical learning tracks: safety for the learning environment, the impact of technology on student growth and development, and modernizing education with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. During the first day’s discussion, speakers provided insights into building safe learning settings with a comprehensive look at both cyber and physical security in education.

Analyzing Current Security Risks

Carahsoft EdTech Talks Summit Blog Series-Part 1 Security and Safety Blog Embedded Image 2024Education institutions face a myriad of cybersecurity challenges such as ransomware, third-party access to school systems, internal bad actors and stolen credentials. One of the most impactful vulnerabilities is a lack of awareness across school communities regarding security. For example, individuals who are unable to recognize a phishing text message that asks the receiver to click on an unsafe link because an account has been frozen may potentially put their own data and their school’s data at risk of exposure.

While cybersecurity is one of the most important aspects of cultivating a successful learning environment, it is just as important to consider physical security for a safe learning environment. Building and campus surveillance, visitor management monitoring, lock down and fire drills, active shooter and crisis management are among some of the ways schools provide personal security for students and staff. With so many aspects of security to manage, schools also must balance being open, inclusive and engaging with communities and culture to provide more expansive learning opportunities while simultaneously protecting against threats on limited budgets.

Protecting Against Cyber Threats in the Modern World

For improved security, educators and industry leaders must collaborate to take proactive measures to safeguard digital infrastructure, data and physical campuses. The best place to start is by ensuring the fundamental standards of cyber defense are in place, functioning properly and are continuously monitored and modernized. This includes solutions and processes such as:

  • Utilizing multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible
  • Email and phishing security to avoid ransomware
  • Maintaining a high standard of digital hygiene through services such as patching and vulnerability management
  • Creating robust and resilient backup strategies for all data at endpoints and in the cloud
  • Performing recovery testing to ensure backups and other operations are working accordingly
  • Providing resources and trainings to engage with school communities to raise awareness of ways students and teachers can defend themselves against physical and cybersecurity threats
  • Implementing a “see something, say something” mentality across school communities to ensure all potential risks are reported and mitigated
  • Hiring IT staff and educators who are passionate about the security and safety mission set forth by an institution and allow them to provide new ideas and innovation
  • Investing in quality cyber insurance to protect institutions against setback from a ransomware attack
  • Conducting frequent audits to ensure school’s systems are compliant with the latest policy requirements and standards in the case a claim must be made

Security Implementation for Institutions

Industry and education experts alike understand the importance of providing a safe space for all students, whether inside schools or online, and continuously aim to make sure their experience is as productive and valuable as possible. Particularly within higher education, many universities and colleges have individual point solutions that they have integrated into their systems to solve very specific problems, creating a disconnected mixture of security infrastructure. Security must be designed with students in mind and a way that provides optimal learning, collaboration and inclusion—technology can help achieve this imperative goal.

As Government and education sectors continue to move toward cloud environments, managing a multitude of products and solutions can become cumbersome and difficult to regulate security. To combat this, consolidation of products to create increased visibility, automation and agility are key for transforming a current infrastructure to be more successful and produce actionable insights.

Visit the EdTech Talks Conference Resource Center to view panel discussions and other innovative insights surrounding security, AI and student success from Carahsoft and our partners.


About Carahsoft in the Education Market  

Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Education IT Solutions Provider™.  

Together with our technology manufacturers and reseller partners, we are committed to providing IT products, services and training to support Education organizations.  

Carahsoft is a leading IT distributor and top-performing E&I Cooperative Services, Golden State Technology Solutions, Internet2, NJSBA, OMNIA Partners and The Quilt contract holder, enhancing student learning and enabling faculty to meet the needs of Higher Education institutions.  

To Learn more about Carahsoft’s Education Solutions, please visit us at

To learn more about Carahsoft’s Cybersecurity Solutions please, visit us at

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