Technology LeadershipUncategorized

Essential Cybersecurity Practices for K12

Ask a dozen people what it means to be “cyber secure” and you’ll likely get a dozen different answers.  And where do you start? What’s most important? How do I know I’m not overlooking something? These are just some of the questions that Michigan K12 Administrators have.  The good news is: the answers can be found in the “Essential Cybersecurity Practices for K12“.  This easy-to-digest guide was recently developed by METL (Michigan Education Technology Leaders), a work group of MAISA, Merit Networks, and MISEN (Michigan State Education Network).

Volunteers from the Michigan K-12 community wrote the guide especially for the non-technical school administrator.  It is based on the “20 CIS Critical Security Controls” and provides a structured, comprehensive, prioritized overview of every major cybersecurity consideration.  The team that developed the guidebook continues to work toward improving Michigan K12 cybersecurity by developing and advocating for best practices and resources. These efforts will include training sessions coordinated with Merit and MACUL as well as the development of additional tools and self-assessments. One such session is the MACUL pre-workshop on March 11th, 2020. The session is being coordinated by METL team members and will cover K12 cybersecurity topics.

Currently, nearly 2,000 copies of the guide are being distributed to every K12 School District and ISD in the state, with most already in the hands of, Superintendents, Business Managers, and Technology Directors.  This same guide is freely available to anyone at By spending just an hour with the guide, K12 administrators will have a better idea about where and how to apply their efforts.

Matt McMahon is the Associate Superintendent for Technology at Gratiot-Isabella RESD (GIRESD) where he has been serving for over 25 years. He oversees the GIRESD Technology Department and the MMNet high speed fiber network which provides circuits and Internet access for over 20 schools in the mid-Michigan region. He is currently serving as the chairperson for the METL’s Cybersecurity Task Force; METL (Michigan Education Technology Leaders) is a workgroup of MAISA