The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released its "Partnering to Safeguard K-12 Organizations from Cybersecurity Threats" report with a supporting toolkit. The report provides recommendations and resources to help K-12 schools and school districts effectively reduce their risk in the evolving, disrupting, and damaging cybersecurity threat landscape. It also provides insight into the current threat landscape and the K-12 community's capacity to prevent and mitigate cyberattacks, offering simple steps school leaders can take to strengthen their cybersecurity efforts.
The report's findings state that K-12 organizations need resources, simplicity, and prioritization to effectively reduce their cybersecurity risk. To address these issues, CISA provides three clear recommendations in the report to help K-12 leaders build, operate, and maintain resilient cybersecurity programs. These recommendations are informed by insights from policymakers, government officials, and members of the K-12 community:
- Invest in the most impactful security measures and build toward a mature cybersecurity plan.
- Recognize and actively address resource constraints.
- Focus on collaboration and information-sharing.
The report is only a starting point. CISA will continue to engage with federal partners, including the U.S. Department of Education, and work closely with all stakeholders in the K-12 cybersecurity community to identify areas for progress and provide meaningful support that measurably reduces risk.
Along with the report, CISA is providing an online toolkit which aligns resources and materials to each of CISA's three recommendations along with guidance on how stakeholders can implement each recommendation based on their current needs. To read the full report and to access the toolkit, visit https://www.cisa.gov/protecting-our-future-partnering-safeguard-k-12-organizations-cybersecurity-threats.
Director, Center for Safe Schools
National School Boards Association