Cybercriminals have had unprecedented opportunities thanks to the pandemic, and there is no sign of it slowing down.
Check Point Security discovered that cyber-attacks have increased by 40% between 2020 and 2021. The number of cyber-attacks per day in the past month was higher than any other month, since January 2020.
Ransomware attacks affect one in every 61 organizations globally on a weekly basis. Educational and research institutions are the most frequently attacked.
“We’ve seen examples of school districts being compromised not because the school district was targeted, but another more sensitive system — election systems, energy systems (were targeted),” said Doug Levin, the national director of the nonprofit K12 Security Information. “Federal authorities have been really targeted, but they’ve used it to compromise school district’s software and technology in order to attack other, even more crucial targets.”
Federal government has security and financial interests in helping school districts to protect themselves against cyberattacks. The K-12 Cybersecurity Act was created today.
K12 Security Information already conducted a study that provided recommendations and tools to help school districts defend themselves against hackers.
They have created essential safeguards which they believe would be beneficial to any district that places them in their place. They also developed a self-assessment tool that allows them to track progress towards the implementation of those standards.
The non-profit also took into account the capabilities and limitations of each school district.
“There are a lot of pretty comprehensive cybersecurity risk management frameworks out there already, but they’re underpowered by the capacity of school districts for their needs for the amount of money and resources available to them,” Levin saidThis is.
Levin said districts are essentially low hanging fruit for threat actors because they are not a standard for cyber protection — they manage a lot of money and can be extorted for millions, and they contain a lot of valuable data and sensitive information about students, families and teachers.
“We’ve seen examples — whether you’re talking about very young children to teachers working in school districts — of credit fraud, tax fraud and identity theft, and this can take weeks, months and years to settle down,” Levin said. .
K12 Security Information Exchange collaborates with the federal governments to help create cybersecurity standards in school districts.