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Cybersecurity Remains Top Issue Per SETDA Survey

October 18, 2022

October marks the 19th year of raising awareness around cybersecurity issues. Cybersecurity Awareness Month, an initiative founded and led by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA).

However, despite having almost two decades worth of awareness efforts being driven around the issue, educational cybersecurity continues to lack appropriate funding for it, according to a survey of educational technology and digital learning leaders from state education agencies across the U.S. in the inaugural report put forth from State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

A recent Education Week article by Lauraine Langreo explored this issue further. Langreo stated, “As schools increasingly turn to technology, the risk of cyberattacks has also grown. State and federal lawmakers are taking notice, but based on SETDA’s survey results, there’s more to be done.”

According to the SETDA survey, 70% percent of survey respondents said that their state education agency or at least one district in their state was the victim of a cyberattack in 2021. Most recently here in California, Los Angeles Unified School District – the nation’s second-largest school district – was targeted by cybercriminals.

As cybercriminals get more bold and ambitious, it is becoming incredibly more apparent that current district efforts to protect against such threats are not sufficient. Langreo stated, “Even though cybersecurity is a top priority for state edtech leaders, it is one of the top three unmet technology needs, the survey found.”

However, despite being an identified need, funding to address cybersecurity issues continues to be lacking. Langreo stated, “Only 8 percent of respondents said their state provides ‘ample’ funding to cybersecurity risk mitigation efforts; 40 percent said their state allocates ‘very little’ funding.”

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