Free Guide Aligns NIST Guidance, Boosts K-12 Cyber


The nonprofit Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has published a free guide of resources for educators to enhance their data protection capabilities regardless of their level of experience with cybersecurity.

The new online tool aims to make cybersecurity standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) intelligible and achievable for K-12 leaders.

“The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides a structured approach for organizations to protect their digital assets,” the organization wrote on its new website.

“Our CoSN’s NIST Cybersecurity Framework Resource Alignment site seamlessly aligns it with a wealth of free and CoSN member resources, empowering school districts to fortify their cyber programs and safeguard their educational environments against evolving digital threats,” the organization said.

CoSN’s new resource, dubbed “NIST Cybersecurity Framework Resources Alignment for K-12,” is organized around five key concepts: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. Each category has subcategories listed along with a variety of resources – most of which are free.

For example, under the protect category, if a viewer clicks on the protective technology subcategory, a link appears for another CoSN page — “three things you can do in less than three hours of work to significantly reduce cybersecurity risk.” The three steps noted and explained on that page include emphasizing backups, eliminating the use of print spoolers, and updating firewall rules.

The respond category links to resources about incident response policies.

Not every resource is linked to CoSN. Many of the links connect users to resources from the Department of Education.

According to the nonprofit, CoSN’s new resource expands upon previous efforts to incorporate NIST guidelines into K-12 cybersecurity measures.