Skip to main content
  1. Home
  2. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Cybersecurity

Subtopics

Data Breaches Information about Data Breaches Phishing Information about Phishing Ransomware Information about Ransomware

Minimize exposure to cyberattacks and build secure and resilient K-12 cyber systems.

Cyberattacks and online threats are an increasingly significant and widespread problem for K-12 schools and school districts. Educational institutions can be a lucrative and vulnerable target for malicious cyber actors because they maintain sensitive student and staff data and personal information, utilize multiple forms of technologies to facilitate learning, and often lack resources to put in place comprehensive cybersecurity programs. Students are also spending more time online than ever before, using technology to complete homework, communicate with peers, and engage with teachers and school staff. 

K-12 cyber threats can include unauthorized disclosures or data breaches, ransomware attacks, phishing attempts, and denial-of-service attacks. These incidents can have significant impacts on schools, making critical systems inaccessible, exposing sensitive personal information, putting confidential school plans and data at risk, and disrupting school operations. Cyberattacks can also result in high financial costs for school districts and the loss of learning for students.

Strategies to Consider

There are several strategies schools and districts can implement to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and protect against current and future digital threats. Some of these measures include:

  • Practice and provide training on good cyber hygiene. This includes recognizing and reporting phishing attempts, using strong passwords, turning on multifactor authentication, and keeping software updated.
  • Establish and exercise a cyber incident response plan outlining what should be done before, during, and after a cyber incident.
  • Implement well-informed processes when new technologies are adopted within the school environment.
  • Stay informed on the cyber risk environment and connect with K-12 cyber partners who can help provide strategic and cost-efficient cybersecurity actions.
  • Invest in the most impactful security measures and build towards a more mature cybersecurity program for the future.

Filter Resources

All Cybersecurity Resources

Access additional resources below to learn more about K-12 cybersecurity and related best practices. Use the filters to sort resources based on subtopic and/or preparedness action.

Video
Cybersecurity
Cyber Safety Series: Ransomware

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, February 2021

Ransomware attacks continue to be one of the most common cyber attacks. Here are some tips to avoid ransomware and keep your information secure.

Report
Cybersecurity
Cyber Actors Target K-12 Distance Learning Education to Cause Disruptions and Steal Data

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, December 2020

This Joint Cybersecurity Advisory from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center assesses cyber threats, risk, vulnerabilities, and malicious cyber activity targeting K-12 educational institutions, leading to ransomware attacks, the theft of data, and the disruption of distance learning services. The advisory also outlines best practices to mitigate these threats.

Guidance
Cybersecurity
Ransomware Reference Materials for K-12

Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice

This webpage includes resources designed to help individuals and K-12 educational institutions remain secure from ransomware.

Was this page helpful?