Letter: US must do more to protect schools from cyberattacks
As summer comes to an end and the weather cools down, the back-to-school season raises concerns about our cybersecurity capabilities.
Education systems, from K-12 to community colleges and universities, have become a prime target for cybercriminals and hackers. These attacks put personal identifiable information, such as financials, phone numbers, addresses, and health records, at risk, endangering the privacy of students, teachers, and families. They can also disrupt school operations by forcing closures, taking down networks, or disrupting bus routes and financially impact school districts or universities.
Local school districts are often seen as an easy target due to their lack of resources. This is all the more reason why lawmakers on all levels of government should be supporting American technology companies, as they are the ones that develop the cybersecurity tools to defend against these attacks. Rather than trying to limit American technology companies’ ability to innovate, our elected leaders should work with our domestic technology sector to make sure schools are equipped with the best cyber defense technology during the back-to-school season.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs recently held a roundtable to discuss ways to protect schools from cyberattacks and found that one in three school districts across the United States fell victim to a cyberattack. The Utah government also recently held an audit that found cyberattacks cost the state millions of dollars and noted that these attacks will continue to have a financial impact if nothing is done to address this issue.
Technology plays an integral role in keeping Americans safe online, and Utahns are counting on our lawmakers to strengthen the American technology companies that defend against cyberattacks.