On a typical day in 2014, more than 22 million cyberattacks threatened to infiltrate Penn State. Two
attacks targeting the university’s College of Engineering managed to slip past security systems. Thanks to an alert from the FBI, the university investigated the attacks and disconnected the college’s computer network from the Internet for three days while it beefed up security.
In K-12, school districts are constantly launching digital learning initiatives that require large amounts of bandwidth and mobile devices. But many of them don’t address the IT infrastructure beforehand. And that leads to horror stories of the network
slowing to a crawl with students and teachers unable to connect their devices to the Internet due to lack of wireless coverage.
“Infrastructure is one of those things that is not sexy and is not glamorous,” says Susan M. Bearden, director of information technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Fla. “I mean, who really wants to hear about switches or bandwidth or choke points in a network? But if you don’t have that infrastructure in place, then you are setting yourself up for failure.”
Unfortunately, education institutions don’t always recognize the tenuous situation they’re in until they fall prey to successful cyberattacks and show-stopping network failures. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
This Center for Digital Education (CDE) Special Report guides education IT leaders through the trends, technologies and tips that will help them build a future-ready infrastructure to carry their institutions through the challenges of life
in the digital age.