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Summer Tech Prep: Essential Tips for School IT Departments


School IT departments can take advantage of reduced user demand during the summer. Now is the time to assess and improve your technology infrastructure, address changes and fixes, and prepare for the fall semester. Here are some essential tips to make the most of summer break. Fund members with cybersecurity coverage can use the checklist at the end of this article to guide their work.

Audit Your Systems

As part of your system audit, you will put together a comprehensive inventory of technology assets, retire assets as necessary, and tune up assets you plan to keep. 

Inventory Management

Start by verifying and updating your hardware and software inventory. Accurate, complete records are crucial because you can't maintain and protect what you don’t know you have. Inventory management gives you a picture of your technology assets. It also helps you identify assets that need attention.

Evaluate and Upgrade

Identify and replace systems that are no longer supported or are close to end of life. Outdated systems pose serious security risks because they lack manufacturers’ patches and updates. Upgrading these systems will boost security, performance, and reliability.

Power Protection

Connect critical systems to uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and surge protectors. Power surges and outages can damage hardware and data. UPS devices provide backup power, keeping systems running during short outages and protecting against power surges.

Software Updates

Patch and update all software. Updates often include important security patches that protect your systems from known vulnerabilities. Keeping software current helps safeguard against potential threats and improves system stability.

User Permissions Audit

Review and adjust domain user permissions. Over time, users may accumulate unnecessary permissions that could pose security risks. Implementing the principle of least privilege ensures users have only the access they need to do their jobs. This reduces the risk of accidental or malicious data breaches.

Maintain and Clean Equipment and Equipment Rooms

You wouldn’t expect your vehicle to remain reliable without regularly scheduled oil changes, tire rotations, and other preventative maintenance. The sample principle applies to technology assets.

Repair and Replace Equipment

Address equipment that needs repairing. This includes rewiring ports, replacing faceplates, and updating faulty peripherals like mice and keyboards. Summer break is an ideal time to handle these tasks without disrupting daily operations.

Regular Cleaning

Clean your server rooms and equipment regularly to reduce dust, which can cause overheating and hardware failure. Regular cleaning increases your equipment’s reliability and lifespan.

E-Waste Management

Eliminate and recycle old and broken equipment that gathered during the school year. Work with a technology waste recycling company to dispose of electronic waste safely and compliantly, freeing up space and protecting the environment.


With old equipment out of the way, reorganize your server room and tech storage areas for better efficiency and accessibility. Cables should be labelled and bundled, and servers should live in a server rack. A well-organized space makes it easier to manage and maintain your technology infrastructure.

Improve Your Security Program

System upgrades, patches, and preventative maintenance alone will not protect your organization from incidents. Comprehensive cybersecurity programs thrive on strong plans and, as important, well trained employees.

Review IT Security Policies

Ensure your IT security policies are up to date and compliant with regulations and best practices. Regular reviews help you find and fix vulnerabilities and ensure that your security measures are strong.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Continue regularly scheduled data backups, but don’t stop there. Confirm that backups are functional and capable of restoring the network after a system failure or ransomware attack. Testing your backup and recovery processes ensures you can quickly recover from data loss or ransomware incidents.

Training and Preparedness

Train your employees on the incident response plan and perform tabletop exercises to test your plan. Exercises help prepare your team to respond to real incidents, ensuring everyone knows their roles and responsibilities during an emergency. Your plan should also identify your cyber coverage provider and who to contact in case of an incident.

Monitoring and Alerts

Set up server and network logs to send notifications to IT staff. Regularly check server logs for critical errors and monitor network logs for suspicious activity that could indicate intrusion attempts. Proactive monitoring helps detect and respond to potential threats quickly.

Additional Support

By following these tips, school IT departments can ensure a strong, secure, and well-maintained technological environment for the upcoming academic year. Don't forget to download our checklist to help you stay organized and efficient during your summer tech prep.

Fund members with Privacy and Information Security coverage benefit from expert support at no additional cost. Let us train your team to build a state-mandated cybersecurity plan, avoid common scams and attacks, and recover from incidents.

Lucas Anderson headshot
Lucas Anderson
Privacy and Cyber Risk Consultant

Lucas Anderson joined TASB Risk Management Services in 2019, bringing more than a decade of experience in cybersecurity, network administration, and information technology. He advises districts on preemptive mitigation against ongoing and emerging cybercriminal threats targeting the education sector, as well as cybersecurity-related regulatory compliance. 

Over his career, Anderson has supported public and private organizations, including Booz Allen Hamilton, the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Defense, and the Texas Association of Counties. 

Bryce Sipes
Bryce Sipes
Cybersecurity Intern

Bryce Sipes is a cybersecurity intern who joined TASB in 2024. His responsibilities include researching industry trends, creating member-centered content and training, and identifying products and services that strengthen members' cybersecurity programs. Sipes is ISC2 CC certified and Google IT Support certified.

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