April 11, 2021

2020 was a record year for K-12 cybersecurity incidents

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.

Data breaches and leaks (36%) and ransomware (12%) accounted for close to half of specified K-12 cyber incidents, while another 45% fell into an “other” category encompassing unattributed malware, digital class and meeting invasions, website and social media defacement, and a host of other “related and/or low-frequency incidents.”

With cybersecurity a top concern for K-12 chief technology officers, the Consortium for School Networking and other education policy organizations earlier this year petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to allow for greater coverage of those services under its E-rate program. The groups estimated an annual cost of $2.4 billion for next-gen firewalls and other advanced security features in K-12, Governing reports.

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