As K-12 data like gradebooks, attendance and student information migrates to the cloud, a new study finds knowledge gaps regarding cloud cybersecurity in school administrations.

A report from ManagedMethods and administered by the EdWeek Research Center, "What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: New Survey Identifies Gaps in K-12 Cloud Security," reveals 30% of district administrators with at least a medium level of influence on technology decisions do not have a security platform to protect cloud applications. In total, half of respondents either did not have a security platform in place or did not know if a platform had been implemented in their district. In a field where 86% of respondents reported using or planning to use cloud-based learning management systems, these knowledge gaps may present security vulnerabilities.

The report surveyed 214 district-level administrators who identified themselves as having at least a medium level of influence on technology decisions, including 54 technology officers, 52 district superintendents and 30 curriculum and instruction directors. Among the respondents, cloud security, safety and privacy are always not a concern, despite schools being heavily reliant on cloud applications. Sixty percent of respondents have a high level of confidence in the privacy and security of the data stored in their cloud applications.

  • 37% are not concerned about data breaches and leaks.
  • 45% are not concerned about compliance with state and federal laws that protect student data.
  • 36% are not concerned about the sharing and viewing of explicit content on their devices.

Of the district administrators surveyed that say they operate in a cloud environment, 28% do not know if they have a monitoring solution in place that protects the data in the school-provided cloud applications. Around one-third of respondents do not know if their cybersecurity platforms consistently monitor the level of risk of files shared with users outside the district's domain, or monitor for potential violations of government regulations.

Download the full report here.