Malicious actors have been turning their attention to the nation’s schools in a significant and unwelcome way. The State of K-12 Cybersecurity: 2020 Year in Review report found an 18 percent increase in publicly-disclosed incidents over 2019 – the equivalent of more than two incidents per school day in 2020. Education was the second-most targeted sector in the first half of 2021, according to the a midyear threat report.
The shift to remote learning last year is partly to blame for this rise in attacks, as teachers and students relied on technology to deliver lessons, complete homework, and interact with students. When attackers target schools, learning is often disrupted, sometimes for days, as critical systems are taken offline.