K-12 Cybersecurity 2020 Year in Review
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A new analysis on the state of cybersecurity in K-12 schools across the US has revealed a record-breaking number of security incidents in 2020. On Wednesday, during the K-12 Cybersecurity Leadership Symposium, the research, titled “The State of K-12 Cybersecurity: 2020 Year in Review,” was released.
K-12 cybersecurity incidents have steadily climbed in recent years, but 2020 was especially bad in terms of both the quantity and severity of attacks, according to a study published Wednesday by organizations that have closely tracked such incidents since 2017.
The number of publicly disclosed cybersecurity incidents affecting K-12 school systems rose by 18% in 2020 over the previous year, according to a report published Wednesday by the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center and the K12 Security Information Exchange, or K12 Six, a new nonprofit group.
A new report released Wednesday found that K-12 schools in the United States experienced a “record-breaking” number of cyber incidents during 2020 as classes moved online and hackers moved in on vulnerable targets in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WASHINGTON – Elementary and secondary school networks contended with a record number of cybersecurity incidents in 2020 as the pandemic forced millions of children into online learning faster than officials could mitigate a growing landscape of threats, a new report has found.
Cyberattacks on school districts surged by a whopping 18 percent in calendar year 2020, likely due to the greater reliance on classroom technology during the pandemic, according to a report released March 10 by the K12 Security Information Exchange and the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center.
Security Research American schools suffered 408 information security attacks in 2020, according to the public disclosures they made. That was 18% higher than districts experienced in 2019. While denial-of-service attacks were the most reported type of cybersecurity incident (reported in 45% of cases), data breaches and leaks hit more than a third of schools (36%), followed by ransomware (12%) and phishing (2%).
The school districts of Rockford, Illinois and Rockingham County, North Carolina learned some very valuable lessons in transparency and communication, timely incident response, access management, data redundancy and disaster recovery after each experienced a debilitating malware attack years ago.
Parents, students and teachers have had to navigate a minefield of cyber threats over the past year as schools continue to invest in ed-tech tools and devices needed for remote learning during COVID-19 school closures. At the same time, cyber criminals found new avenues for data breaches and phishing scams, as well as ransomware and malware attacks targeting school districts in 2020.
A recent report from the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center finds 2020 was a “record-breaking” year for cyberattacks against U.S. schools, with 408 publicized incidents marking an 18% increase over 2019.