Who is the boss now?

Ingham School District begins use of iboss cybersecurity


Zabrina Yannella

Senior Dara Diffenbaugh works on an assignment for her online course using her Chromebook. The first few days of school web access on the Chromebooks was unavailable for student use, due to the installation of the iboss system.

On the first day of school, students anticipated receiving their Chromebooks ready to begin their online assignments. However, when students tried to access anything, even just Google, a screen with the iboss cybersecurity system would read, “Access to the requested site has been restricted due to your organization’s policy.”

The Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD) has taken over the tech service contract for Stockbridge school district, and is now using both Palo Alto Networks and the new iboss cybersecurity system to make sure that the Chromebooks are secured properly.

“Palo Alto is used as our unified threat management system,” curriculum and technology director, Jim Kelly said. “We are using iboss as our offsite filter for Chromebooks.”

The Palo Alto Networks system alone was not enough to properly filter students offsite Chromebook use. This is where iboss comes in.

“It is our goal to meet the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act both onsite and offsite and meet the policy standards set by the Stockbridge Community Schools Board of Education,” said Kelly.

The iboss program is meant to mirror the Palo Alto program that is used onsite for better offsite filtering, according to Kelly.

“Filtering will never stop all threats that exist on the Internet,” Kelly said. “It is very important that students learn to be good digital citizens. This is a valuable skill not only for academic reasons, but also for personal and fiscal safety.”

The iboss system is not meant to block everything and make the use of Chromebooks harder, it is meant to help secure our student safety online, according to Kelly.

“I guess they are the school’s Chromebooks so they can do what they want with them, but I don’t feel safe using my Chromebook because of it,” junior Mackenzie Williams said. “I feel like they should have a little more trust in kids, like maybe a warning system for those who break safety rules, but not all of us should be punished.”