Thursday, 14 March 2024 15:18

Ballston Spa Schools Beefing Up Cybersecurity

A slide from the 2025 Budget Development presentation delivered at the March 6 Ballston Spa Board of Education meeting shows anticipated IT support services budgets for 2024 and 2025. Image via the Board of Education livestream. A slide from the 2025 Budget Development presentation delivered at the March 6 Ballston Spa Board of Education meeting shows anticipated IT support services budgets for 2024 and 2025. Image via the Board of Education livestream.

BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District has $1.4 million budgeted for IT support services this year and anticipates spending another $1.5 million next year. 

Much of this increase in funds is due to cyber security enhancements, said Clerk of the Board and Records Access Officer Brian Sirianni during a budget development presentation at the March 6 Board of Education meeting. “Cybersecurity is just top of the mind, every day, every way,” Sirianni said.

To help with cybersecurity issues, the district hires multiple outside consultants. “We rotate through various groups to get more information from various companies,” Sirianni said, “so that we’re not just hearing the same things.” The district has nearly 4,600 Chromebooks and more than 1,000 desktop computers to safeguard. 

According to the Board of Education’s policy manual, the district is “committed to maintaining the security and privacy of student data and teacher and principal data and will follow all applicable laws and regulations for the handling and storage of this data in the district, and when disclosing or releasing it to others, including, but not limited to, third-party contractors.”

A November 2023 case study by the computer software company Faronics reported that the implementation of Deep Freeze, a software utility, resulted in an 80% reduction in software-related issues and system crashes across the district. Faronics called the Ballston Spa Central School District “a testament to strategic IT solutions’ power.”

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