To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Date: March 3, 2022
RE: Tech Department Report
We are about to deploy an application to our Windows computers that “mounts” the end users’ Google Drive as what appears to be a native drive within Windows. This will make it easier for those not yet fully using online Google Docs to still make use of Google Drive for storage and sharing. This will only be possible from our own computers, not people’s home machines (for security purposes, staff and students can access their Google Drive online from home if needed). Our longer-term goal here though is to gradually do away with our own onsite file server altogether. This is one less service and piece of hardware that we’d have to worry about in terms of management and expense, but, more importantly, it would actually improve our security stance. File servers are a target for cyberattacks, they are encrypted and held to ransom or the data exfiltrated and then payment is demanded for not making things public. Our file server is already not of a standard type and so (I believe) more secure than the average, but by doing away with it and relying on our security through Google (now considerably heightened with 2-factor auth) we’d be safer still.
We are also looking at the ways we in tech manage our Windows servers and are reconfiguring things so that we require 2-factor authentication (with a hardware USB key) to perform anything administrative on them. Not everything is in place yet for this, but it shouldn’t be hard for us to make this transition pretty quickly.
We’re still working towards the improved automation of TEAM high school’s weekly student progress reporting, we’ve just streamlined their attendance tracking into the same system and are successfully getting student progress data directly from the Apex API. We’re also “beta testing” a new function to allow all staff to text parents directly from within Sips, and for parents to reply back. This would give us a central repository of all these communications and free staff from using their own phones or 3rd party tools (things we’ve been discouraging anyway).