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NSBA Launches New District and School Resource to Mitigate Cyber-threats

July 3, 2018

Alexandria, Va., (July 3, 2018) – The National School Boards Association (NSBA) announces the launch of Cyber Secure Schools initiative, a key source of information, tools, and resources, to help districts and schools enhance the security of their networks and data systems, and reduce cyber-vulnerabilities.

“Technology continues to change rapidly and with those changes comes emerging and significant cyber-threats,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director and CEO. “Today’s school leaders must be able to familiarize themselves with the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape and take proactive steps to secure sensitive student and staff data and district operations.”

School districts often utilize a variety of technology tools including “free” file-sharing or cloud storage websites, or personal e-mail accounts; all of which can make them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Potential risks increase even further when an individual uses personal or multiple devices to access school networks or online forums where student data and other confidential or sensitive information may be housed or posted.

Breaches in the education sector have risen since 2015, according to Verizon. Its 2017 Data Breach Investigations report notes that hackers and cyber-attackers are constantly developing new tactics to access systems and data. And while a system can be compromised in minutes, the majority of breaches can take months or longer to discover.

The fragility of district and school-based information and data systems is a growing concern for NSBA. With the increased number of instances and the rising complexity of cyber threats, policies and practices that may have helped a school district avoid potential network and system threats in the past, cannot be relied upon to be as effective tomorrow.

The informative articles, survey data, tools and promising practices available at Cyber Secure Schools will aid districts and schools in identifying threats and recognizing vulnerabilities in their cyber-security policies and practices so that they can make better informed, forward leaning decisions and reduce the likelihood of a hack or cyber-breach.

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The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA believes education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential. The association represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. www.nsba.org

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