2023 Top Cybersecurity Threats to K-12 school districts


As the use of technology becomes more prevalent in K-12 school districts, it is essential for schools to stay informed of the most recent cybersecurity trends and threats. Here are the top cybersecurity trends and threats that school districts must be aware of for the year 2023:

Ransomware: The sophistication and targeting of ransomware attacks is increasing, with school districts being frequent targets. In fact the notorious Vice Society ransomware gang specifically targets schools more than any other industry. These attacks can lead to the encryption of important data and a demand for payment for the decryption key that many times doesn’t fully function or retrieve all the encrypted data.

Phishing Scams: The intricacy and targeting of phishing scams are growing, and schools are becoming an increasingly likely target. These schemes are intended to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as login credentials.

Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is widely used in K-12 schools, as it provides a range of advantages including cost savings, scalability, and accessibility. Nevertheless, with the increasing reliance on cloud computing, it is critical to ensure that the technology is employed securely to defend against potential cyber threats. One simple misconfiguration can open the door to a massive cyber attack in the cloud.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML are widely utilized in K-12 schools to upgrade the learning experience. Nevertheless, schools need to be aware of the risks associated with these technologies, such as data breaches and the misapplication of data.

Social Engineering: Social engineering attacks, such as impersonation and baiting, are becoming more complex and targeted, and schools are more likely to be a target. These assaults are meant to deceive individuals into divulging confidential information, like login credentials.

Remote Learning: The shift to remote learning has increased the danger of cyberattacks on the systems and devices being utilized by remote workers. It is necessary for schools to ensure that remote students are properly educated on cybersecurity best practices and that their systems and devices are properly secured.

Mobile Device Management: With the escalating use of mobile devices in schools, it is important for schools to implement mobile device management (MDM) solutions to guarantee that mobile devices are securely safeguarded and that sensitive information is secure.

IoT Devices: The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the burgeoning network of devices linked to the internet, such as smartboards and security cameras. These devices can introduce new vulnerabilities into a school's network, and it is essential for schools to put in place stringent security measures to protect against potential attacks.

Mental Health: Since the pandemic has led to a rise in mental health issues, it is important for schools to provide instruction and resources on how to recognize and prevent cyberbullying, as well as how to manage online harassment and other related topics.

Insider Threats: Insider threats are a major concern for K-12 school districts. These threats can come from existing or former staff members, students, or contractors.

Quantum Computing: Quantum computing is a novel technology that can bring substantial advantages, but it also carries new security challenges.

Securus360’s MXDR provides an all-encompassing network security monitoring solution, that provides threat visibility across your school district’s entire infrastructure; monitoring endpoints, servers, networks, cloud instances, and end-user behavior, all in one centralized platform. Utilizing the power of Hybrid Intelligence and Machine Learning, MXDR delivers a high speed, high-touch cybersecurity solution that proactively hunts, detects and neutralizes advanced threats before they can impact your school district.

Contact Securus360 to speak to a cybersecurity expert and schedule your Vulnerability Assessment and MXDR demo today!

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