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BUSD to use SDCOE anti-phishing program

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The San Diego County Office of Education created a phishing simulation software called Red Herring which is for the sole purpose of cybersecurity awareness activities. The Bonsall Unified School District will be among the districts using that software.

A 4-0 BUSD board vote Monday, April 17, with Michael Gaddis absent, approved an agreement for the Bonsall district to use the SDCOE phishing simulation software. The agreement period ends March 24, 2024, although it may be renewed. The school district will not need to provide payment to the county office for use of the software.

“Cybersecurity continues to be a priority,” BUSD superintendent Joseph Clevenger said. “We have some incredible support systems from the San Diego County Office of Education, and one of them is this program.”

Red Herring sends false phishing emails to employees to help train them to recognize actual phishing emails and respond appropriately to such messages. The county office will allow the Bonsall district to use its phishing simulation software and will create an administrator account for the Bonsall district to perform the simulation. The Bonsall district may use the program only for an awareness program within the BUSD network and is not permitted to use the software to send email to individuals or organizations outside the district domain.

“This provides training to our staff,” Clevenger said. “We always look to have the very best software. Ultimately it will come down to our people.”

Any email template or landing page which is marked as public by the district will be available to all individuals and organizations with access to the system. The county office will have a super administrator account which allows it to create the Bonsall district’s administrator account, but the super administrator account does not have access to view BUSD data. The district’s information, however, will be stored in a local database, and the county database manager will have access to view the Bonsall district’s data.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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