Keeping students safe following rapid 1:1 implementation

Ben Rice and Timothy Kusajtys, from Converge, bring awareness to the importance of being prepared for cyber attacks after 1:1 devices are deployed

Converge Technology Solutions can safely consider itself a trusted advisor to numerous major organisations and education institutions across North America and beyond. 

Founded in 2016, the company has an impressive track record of advising, implementing and managing solutions in cybersecurity, digital infrastructure, cloud platforms, advanced analytics and much more. 

It’s little wonder, therefore, that many schools are beginning to take advantage of Converge’s vast range of services – including those offered by Technology Integration Group (TIG), which was recently acquired by Converge.

Ben Rice, Director of Education Solutions at Converge, explains: “In the education space, there are three things keeping K–12 CTOs up at night. There's cybersecurity; the physical security of our schools; and the question of whether we embrace artificial intelligence in the classroom. 

“At Converge, we have the expertise and services to address those needs.”

Tyler ISD set to reap rewards from Converge partnership

Tyler Independent School District (ISD), in Texas, is already benefitting from the skills and knowledge possessed by TIG and Converge’s teams. 

“Word of mouth from a valued customer is a wonderful thing,” says Rice. “Tyler ISD understood that other school districts were successfully implementing large-scale 1:1 programs and saw the value in leveraging our company's capabilities.”

Rice continues: “During COVID, continuing education was prioritised in the educational space, forcing schools into a rapid 1:1 deployment. As a result, securing devices and student data was often an afterthought.” 

Timothy Kusajtys, Cybersecurity Manager and Practice Lead at Converge, adds: “Cyber criminals aren’t typically concerned about who they're targeting, whether it’s schools, hospitals or financial firms. The problem is schools are a target because they lack the funding and expertise to build a robust cybersecurity programme.” 

School districts, Kusajtys continues, must be proactive in their approach to cybersecurity. He compares the planning process to carrying out fire and safety drills, ensuring everybody knows their roles: “To prevent a cyber incident you have to get things right 100% of the time,” he adds, “but attackers only have to be right once and it’s game over. 

“Making sure you have a well-drilled plan beforehand to deal with the ‘when’, and not the ‘if’, is critical.”

Knowledge is key in fight against cybercrime

Taking a more proactive approach to cybersecurity in schools is easier said than done. Funding is important but, just as every teacher will tell you, so is knowledge.

Cybersecurity, as Kusajtys puts it, “changes on a dime”. The problems of yesterday may not be the problems of tomorrow – as has been seen with the use of Chat GPT in phishing emails.

Fortunately for schools, Converge can boast an experienced team of 1,400+ technical resources who live and breathe cybersecurity. 

“We’re in a position where we can go into school districts, take our knowledge and passion in this space, and produce an offering that can help at a price they can afford,” concludes Kusajtys.

“These are our young minds – the next generation. Making sure they're safe, not just physically but in terms of their data, is critically important.”

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