A couple weeks ago, Cyber Talk reported on indicators that signaled the education sector was increasingly on the radar of cyberattackers. As the education industry has tuned into the threat, it has started to take measures to address the problem head-on. As evidence of that, the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center released the first report pertaining to cyber security threats in U.S. public schools last week: The State of K-12 Cybersecurity: 2018 Year in Review

According to the report, the number of students with access to broadband connections for digital learning jumped from 4 million in 2013, to 44.7 million in 2018. “While the benefits of technology in education may be great, its adoption also introduces new risks,” notes the report.

Cyberattacks targeted at educational institutions occur at a rate of roughly once every three days. The national K-12 Cyber Incident Map indicates where attacks have occurred in recent years, and the kinds of attacks that U.S. schools are facing.

Disruptive and dangerous, cyberattacks can target any of several, or multiple, audiences. For teachers, their online grading and management systems are at risk of being compromised, administrators can encounter cyber and physical threats due to vulnerabilities related to key card access, and parents can be targets of phishing schemes.

And, since data at risk includes names, dates of birth, social security numbers, health information, and legal notices, the fallout from such information getting into the hands of hackers could imply lasting consequences.

Negating nefarious activity is difficult for any enterprise. Add in the resource constraints held by schools and the problem becomes much worse. For the education sector, the challenge will be to identify flexible and cost-efficient solutions that address a changing resource landscape. Prioritizing prevention over detection will be key.

Get the full story at Campus Safety Magazine.