On Monday, a Bill to protect US Schools against Cyber Threats was introduced in the House of Representatives and was directed to DHS to outline a list of Cybersecurity recommendations and Cybersecurity toolkit to K-12 schools operating across the United States to strengthen their cyber protections.
Senators Rick Scott and Gary Peters introduced the bill to the Senate which in-turn directed the bill to the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee.
Peters said that most of the school heads were showing a lot of interest in protecting the personal data of their students and faculty, but were not in a position to do so due to lack of resources and information in better defending themselves against the prevailing threats in the current cyber landscape.
Both the Senators feel that the bill will help the K-12 schools safeguard their IT infrastructure against cyber attacks and is being supported by the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Consortium for School Networking.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will have to do thorough research in this segment to report back on the overall cyber risks faced by the educational institutions operating across the United States and then devise a framework of measures to safeguard schools against cyber attacks.
Security analysts feel that the bill closely depicts the State and Local Government Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which was introduced in the house in Aug’19 but is yet to see any action.
Meanwhile, a study conducted by Cloud Security firm Armor states that over 1000 schools operating across the united states were affected by Ransomware alone in 2019. And some ransomware attacks on public utilities were so severe that the attack caused the governors to declare a statewide emergency.
As school districts can prove as lucrative data troves to hackers, protecting them from hackers makes complete sense…..isn’t it?