Matsui and Langevin Urge Biden Administration to Address Cybersecurity Threats in K-12 Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C.Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) and Rep. Jim Langevin (RI-02) sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, urging him to issue guidance that will allow K-12 schools to make investments in increased cybersecurity measures.

“While the shift to online interaction has helped keep students engaged, it has also highlighted a growing threat – cyber-incidents targeting schools that are increasing in regularity and sophistication,” the lawmakers wrote.

Cyberattacks targeting schools are increasing in frequency and severity. These attacks have threatened students’ privacy and caused harmful classroom disruptions. Last year, the FBI issued an advisory on cyber threats facing K-12 schools noting, “Cyber actors likely view schools as targets of opportunity, and these types of attacks are expected to continue through the 2020/2021 academic year.” Additionally, according to a recent report by the K12 Security Information Exchange and the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center there were 348 and 408 cyberattacks on schools in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

“In light of this well-documented threat, we believe that the Department must be doing everything it can to support schools in protecting the confidentiality of students’ data and ensuring the availability of information technology systems essential for learning,” the lawmakers continued.

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

The letter was supported by: the Council of Chief State School Officers, State Educational Technology Directors Association, National Association of State Chief Information Officers, Alliance for Excellent Education, Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, and Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

Congresswoman Matsui has long been a champion of securing our technological future and serves as Chair of the Congressional High-Tech Caucus and Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. She is the author of the Enhancing K-12 Cybersecurity Act, which would promote access to information, better track cyberattacks nationally, and provide increased cybersecurity resources for K-12 schools.

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