Preventing Data Leaks and Loss in Google and Microsoft 365


It’s no secret that most school districts are using cloud applications for everything from instruction to operations. Our recent survey found that over 94% use Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Canvas, Zoom, and many more.

But many people don’t know that schools aren’t correctly preventing data leaks and loss in these apps.

Yes, there is a general understanding that district IT teams are overworked and underfunded. This is particularly true for cybersecurity resources, compared to classroom technology, for example.

But what I see here is a misalignment of data security resources. The same survey found that $20,000 is the median amount district leaders allocate to cybersecurity. That data point alone tells you that cybersecurity is woefully underfunded.

Only 20% of that budget will go toward cloud security. At the same time, districts are creating, storing, and sharing the vast majority of their sensitive data—student data, financial data, W2s, you name it—in cloud-based software. The percent of districts that are either currently using or are planning on moving to a cloud-based system soon is significant:

  • Human Resources – 69%
  • Financial Information – 64%
  • Student Information System – 73%
  • Learning Management System – 86%

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