K-12 schools hit by cyber attack. Lack of cybersecurity education is a problem.


K-12 schools hit by cyber attack. Lack of cybersecurity education is a problem.

This week on cybersecurity from the editors of Cybercrime Magazine

Read the full story from Newsday

Sausalito, California – February 26, 2024

News reports that Long Island schools experienced a sharp increase in the number of reported hacks and other cyber incidents in 2023 compared to the previous year, and that human error continued to be a leading cause of data disclosure sensitive information about students such as special educational disabilities and disciplinary problems, records show.

Island schools reported 35 cyber incidents last year, a 52 percent increase from 23 the previous year, according to state Department of Education records obtained by Newsday through a request for freedom of information law. The figures show a continuing year-on-year trend of rising incidents, with the 2022 figure being twice as many as 2021.

Many of these cyber problems were self-inflicted. Human error on the part of school staff accounts for about half of them, a total of 16, despite the fact that many districts have implemented cybersecurity training to enable employees detect suspicious emails and secure folders.

Primary and secondary schools, nationally and globally, face relentless cyberattacks.. … Long Island reflects that,” said Steve Morgan, founder of Northport, N.Y.-based Cybersecurity Ventures, a provider of data and analytics to the industry.

These errors, intrusions and thefts can be costly: losses for school districts range from $50,000 to $1 million per school data breach, as they often require replacing computer hardware and improving cybersecurity to prevent future events, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Training can make a big difference, experts say.

Employee training tops the list of what can be done to improve safety because (many) cyber incidents are due to human error,” Morgan said. “The key is continuing education, not just one-off programs. »

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