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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.

Introducing the K-12 Cyber Incident Map

Today, I am pleased to introduce and launch the “K-12 Cyber Incident Map.” It is a visualization of cybersecurity-related incidents reported about U.S. K-12 public schools and districts from 2016 to the present. Painstakingly assembled from public reports, it was created to begin to build a data-based awareness of the scope and variety of digital security and privacy threats facing K-12 public schools and districts, as well as to shed a light on the need for uniform standards for disclosing cyber incidents affecting schools, students, and educators.

How Should We Address the Cybersecurity Threats Facing K-12 Schools?

There are a range of potential cybersecurity threats facing K-12 schools. Thanks to my invited participation in a National Governors Association cybersecurity summit, I’ve documented my current thinking on the cybersecurity in K-12 education, why it is an important issue, and what should be done about it. Ultimately, if we can’t generate the political will to address these issues head on, states and the federal government have no business pursuing school reform and improvement strategies dependent on technology.