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White House Summit Will Discuss Cyberattacks Targeting Schools

A group of school officials will meet at the White House on Monday to discuss the growing number of cyberattacks targeting schools, Axios reports. The group will include school superintendents, educators and education technology vendors. Ransomware has targeted school districts across the U.S., including both major cities and small towns. Schools have struggled to fight back amid a lack of resources. The Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools, will include First Lady Jill Biden, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Participants will discuss the ways they can work together to secure schools' online infrastructure.

Both government agencies and private industry are expected to announce new "commitments" at the summit. Representatives from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Federal Communications Commission are expected to attend. The most recent school year saw eight significant cyberattacks, including four that forced schools to cancel classes. It is estimated that school districts lose anywhere from $50,000 to $1 million when responding to a cyberattack. School IT leaders have started sharing threat intelligence with each other, while others are hiring third-party security operations centers to monitor their systems 24/7. In the past, the Biden administration has used events like this one to stage proposals for new regulations or to make new grants relating to cybersecurity.


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