ND K-12 students urged to install anti-malware as new school year begins

Jecca Geffre
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

DEVILS LAKE - Children are heading back to school soon, and North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) department Chief Information Security Officer Kevin Ford encourages public school kids to ‘Click OK to secure your day.’

The ND State Superintendent’s Student Cabinet members, Gov. Doug Burgum, K-12 administrators, and cybersecurity professionals produced a video with the Palo Alto Networks encouraging schoolchildren to install anti-malware to keep their devices safe.

“Cyber security is important to students, families, and schools alike, and I am proud that members of my Superintendent’s Student Cabinet have stepped up to amplify that message to our entire state,” said Kirsten Baesler, the state superintendent of public instruction.

“North Dakota schoolchildren are cyber smart, we had to counter the basic rule for them to never install anything on their devices. We want to get this proactive anti-malware installed on as many school devices as possible to keep our kids’ data safe.” Ford said.

The Palo Alto XDR security product enables K-12 districts to centrally monitor and control their own environment. And, because the XDR anti-malware product is provided by the state, it allows the state’s cybersecurity team to help local IT administrators in a cyber emergency. The XDR product also allows K-12 schools from across the state to share threat information to the entire state so that if a cyber incident occurs in one school, every other school in the state can be protected. 

This anti-malware software is extremely important because whether hybrid, virtual or face-to-face for classes this year, almost all children will use an electronic device to perform their schoolwork.