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Schools Struggle to Keep Pace With Hackings, Other Cyber Threats

To better understand the cybersecurity challenges facing schools, Education Week talked with school leaders in Arizona, Connecticut, Montana, and Texas about the cybersecurity incidents they faced, and how they responded. They found that the country’s K-12 information-technology leaders are likely underestimating the dangers they face and that many are failing to take even basic steps to secure their networks and data.

On School Surveillance Threats

These days, fingerprint scanners and cameras are regular parts of school life—on the ceilings watching students walk, and on their laptops analyzing their facial expressions. While surveillance tools could yield benefits for safety, performance development and security, they also raise thorny security and privacy issues.

K-12 Cyber Incident Map: 8 School Districts Have Experienced Multiple Cyber Inci...

One interesting and potentially concerning trend that has emerged in compiling data for the K-12 Cyber Incident Map is that the number of schools and/or districts that have experienced multiple cyber incidents is increasing. This may be due to an increased reliance on technology for teaching, learning and school operations as compared to other districts and hence a greater exposure to cyber risks. It could be due to bad luck. Or, it could be a sign of a lack of expertise, resources, and/or attention to cyber security issues. To aid policymakers, researchers, administrators, and others in understanding this trend, I have decided to compile and begin to report more detailed information about these schools and districts.