INNISFAIL – Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) continues to work with school divisions and other stakeholders to ensure the cybersecurity of its students, staff, schools and other facilities, says superintendent Kathleen Finnigan.

In her monthly report to trustees presented during A recent board meeting, Finnigan provided an update on education technology and information technology efforts, including regarding cybersecurity.

“RDCRS has been working with 14 school boards in the urban school insurance consortium,” said Finnigan. “Since April 2022, RDCRS has been implementing cybersecurity control policies to our network to meet our insurance requirements.

“Along with other school boards, we have been working with Marsh Insurance Broker to manage our risk and protect our technology and data assets. Over the past year we have made significant improvement to our key control measures.”

The cybersecurity work includes examinations of the division’s control access, encryption, filtered emails and web content, anti-malware solutions, privileged account management, endpoint detection and response, cyber incident response planning and testing, and end of life systems replacement and protection, she said.

“RDCRS is continuing to improve our security support by addressing any technology that is approaching or has extended beyond their end of life date, improving our device management, advancing our anti-malware solutions to district-managed devices, and training our technology staff through table-top training exercise through incident response scenario training,” she said.

The division is exploring new options for recycling end of life technology, she said.

“To be more responsible to our families, community and environment, RDCRS is partnering with local electronic recycling companies to ensure that our technologies are being disposed of ethically and responsibly,” she said. 

“It is important to RDCRS that our technologies have proper data eradication, neutralizing the magnetic field used for data and shredding of our digital data, while also recycling our equipment to reduce our environmental impact.”

Finnigan’s report also touched on work ongoing in the area of artificial intelligence (AI).

“With the emergence of AI, we are evaluating the current educational research to continue to ensure or policies and practices reflect this groundbreaking development and help continue to position our students with the skills they will require in the modern technological landscape,” he said.

“We work to help our students learn how to use technology to help enhance productivity while demonstrating consideration towards others, valuing intellectual property, and developing critical thinking skills while safeguarding themselves and other against online content and behaviours that may be harmful.”

Trustees accepted Finnigan’s report as information. The board also passed a motion reappointing Finnigan as the division’s superintendent until Dec. 31, 2026.

The 10,600-student RDCRS division includes schools in Olds and Innisfail.


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