By Michelle Goldchain
Cyberattacks, phishing emails, malware, data breaches, and hackers are all threatening K-12 school districts across the county, and technology leaders are scrambling to fight them off.
Nationwide, there is a growing emphasis on improving cybersecurity in K-12 schools, according to Phil Morris, the director of operations and technology for the Kane County Regional Office of Education in suburban Chicago and past president of the Illinois Educational Technology Leaders, but those efforts still have “a ways to go,” he said.
As part of the monthly #edCTOchat Morris organizes aimed at K-12 chief technology officers and other school and district technology leaders, Morris will focus discussion on Education Week’s recent special report on cybersecurity, “K-12 Cybersecurity: Big Threats and Best Practices.” The chat will take place April 9, starting at 2 p.m. ET
The #edCTOchat will feature discussion around successful approaches to prevent a cyberattack, tools that CTOs and other district leaders use to improve cybersecurity, and best practices around training district staff.
Doug Levin, the founder of the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center and the president of EdTech Strategies and will also participate in the chat. Levin penned an opinion piece for the report titled, “Why K-12 Cybersecurity Is Only as Good as the Leadership at the Top.”
With these #edCTOchat chats, Morris said he hopes to help connect chief technology officers from around the country to boost awareness around topics like student-data privacy or budgeting for technology and cybersecurity.
There have now been over 400 reports of cybersecurity-related incidents involving U.S. public schools since 2016, according to the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center.
Morris said, “It’s not if, it’s when you’re going to have to deal with some kind of cybersecurity attack.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.