Chester County Schools Partner with Tech Firms to Secure Data

CCIU Delivers Cutting-Edge Cybersecurity Services to Educational OrganizationsPictured front left is Bryan Ruzenski, Kristina Young, Laurel Di Fonzo, Tim Haas, Walter Snyder. Pictured back left is Mike Martinez, Larry Konig. /Submitted Image

DOWNINGTOWN, PA — The Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) has entered into a pioneering partnership with Rubrik, a cloud data management company, and ePlus, a consultative technology solutions provider, to offer managed immutable backup services to educational organizations. This service aims to secure schools’ critical data using cutting-edge technology, managed by CCIU’s expert cybersecurity team, at an affordable price.

How the Service Works

CCIU technicians collaborate with school IT staff to connect to the service, configure backup jobs, and perform test restores. By handling the day-to-day maintenance and support, CCIU allows overworked school staff to focus on their primary responsibilities. Schools can be confident that their data is protected by professionals.

One key feature of this service is CCIU’s role in incident response. They assist in recovering from ransomware attacks and other data-destroying incidents. Since its launch in 2020, CCIU has helped two organizations recover from ransomware attacks, minimizing instructional time loss and avoiding hefty ransom payments.

Growing Adoption and Impact

So far, over 20 educational organizations benefit from this service. Many school leaders acknowledge the near impossibility of recovering from cyber attacks without specialized help. Bryan Ruzenski, Certified Education Technology Leader™ and director of external technology services at CCIU, emphasized the importance of such support. “Cybersecurity is a vast and complex subject, and educational organizations need support to handle it effectively. Educational service agencies (ESAs) are uniquely positioned to deliver the expertise, guidance, and technology that schools need to protect their data and quickly recover so their students are still able to learn, even if technology is compromised,” he said.

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Enhancing School Security

Cybersecurity in educational institutions is becoming increasingly vital. Schools store a wealth of sensitive data, including student records, staff information, and financial details. A breach could lead to severe consequences, such as identity theft, financial loss, and disruption of educational services.

The partnership between CCIU, Rubrik, and ePlus provides a robust defense against these threats. Managed immutable backups mean that data cannot be altered or deleted, making it easier to recover in case of a cyber attack. This service not only secures data but also ensures that learning continues without significant interruptions.

Safeguarding Data and Building Trust

Other educational service agencies across the nation are adopting similar cybersecurity measures. These efforts are crucial for protecting student and staff data, ensuring continuity of operations, and maintaining trust in educational institutions.

As technology evolves, so do cyber threats. Ransomware attacks, where hackers lock access to data and demand payment to release it, have become more sophisticated. Schools, often working with limited resources, are particularly vulnerable. Services like those provided by CCIU help level the playing field, offering advanced cybersecurity solutions that might otherwise be out of reach.

A Game-Changing Partnership

As more consortiums and services launch, educational organizations will have better access to the resources needed to leverage technology safely. This trend is expected to continue, providing schools with the support necessary to mitigate risks associated with digital education.

In summary, the CCIU’s partnership with Rubrik and ePlus marks a significant step forward in securing the digital infrastructure of educational institutions. By offering managed immutable backup services, they provide a safety net for schools, ensuring that data is protected and that learning can continue even in the face of cyber threats. This initiative sets a precedent for other regions, highlighting the importance of robust cybersecurity measures in education.

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