Educator Edtech Review: ClassLink Cybersecurity Rubric

cybersecurity rubric
(Image credit: Classlink)

The ClassLink Cybersecurity Rubric for Education is a tool created by a coalition of experts using the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Framework, as well as other cybersecurity and privacy standards. Making sure to take into account the unique needs of education, the rubric provides school districts with the tools to self-assess their cybersecurity program.

The Cybersecurity Rubric for Education is free but educators can go a step further and take the certification course to earn a credential as a Certified Cybersecurity Rubric Evaluator (CCRE).

Cybersecurity Rubric: Getting Started 

I found getting started with the Cybersecurity Rubric (CR) very straightforward. Since I am already a ClassLink user, I accessed the training by logging into my ClassLink account and clicking on the “ClassLink Academy” app. If you are not a ClassLink customer go to the Cybersecurity Rubric home page to read about the initiative and download the rubric. To further improve your skills, create a free CR Academy account to access the free training to best utilize the CR, or purchase the Certified Cybersecurity Rubric Evaluator (CCRE) training and exam.

Once my account was set, I started with the first course, “Learning How to Use the Cybersecurity Rubric.” This self-guided training lasts for approximately 2½ hours, with topics on cybersecurity awareness and evaluations, the rubric’s maturity levels, and how to do a self-evaluation for your school system. I completed the units and then was able to take the survey to earn a certificate to show I understood the CR and could use it to do self-evaluations. This certificate can be shared on your social feeds, such as LinkedIn.

I also took their more comprehensive course (approx. 3½ hrs.) to become a Certified Cybersecurity Rubric Evaluator (CCRE). This certification is more comprehensive and also has an exam at the end. It allows CCREs to provide third-party evaluations to school systems for a fee.

 Cybersecurity Rubric: Best Features 

ClassLink has created the Cybersecurity Coalition for Education, a collection of experts to develop the rubric and certification courses. They took the NIST Framework and distilled it down to a more workable and understandable form so school districts can best evaluate their cybersecurity postures. I found the rubric easy to understand, but I highly recommend you go through the free training on how to use it for best results. 

I like the learning management system they have for the training modules, which is well laid out and easy to navigate. Since the training is self-paced, I could easily pick up where I left off. ClassLlink also provides training for all of their products, since I am a user I found this extra free training a big plus. 

The CCR and CCRE training was very comprehensive. ClassLink uses a variety of techniques to deliver training, including video and interactive assessments. I was able to easily go back and review the content using the menus they listed on the left of each module.

Cybersecurity Rubric: Pricing 

The Cybersecurity Rubric for Education and the training on how to use it for self-evaluation are free and can be found on their Cybersecurity Rubric website.  

I also have gone through the training for certification as a Certified Cybersecurity Rubric Evaluator (CCRE). This training and access to the evaluation cost $99. Once I take and pass the assessment, I will have the credential to provide paid services using the rubric as a CCRE. This training gives me the knowledge and tools to assess other districts' cybersecurity programs and provide them with a report and next steps to help them improve. This certification comes with a credential and is good for three years. 

Cybersecurity Rubric: Key Takeaways 

Over time I have looked at many tools for assessing and improving cybersecurity. Some of the solutions were very comprehensive, but not completely relevant to my particular situation in a school district. Others were so complicated and technical that I found completion cumbersome and confusing. 

ClassLink has taken one of the best, the NIST Framework, and put together both a tool and training that meets the specific needs of a school district technology leader. I applaud them for seeing the need and providing a solution that is well thought out and easy to implement. 

Frank Pileiro is the former Supervisor of Technology & Data for the Linwood Public Schools in Linwood, NJ.  He speaks at the local, state, and national levels about empathy, educational innovation, and instructional technology.