Cybersecurity Resource Focused on Small, Rural and Underresourced Districts

A recently published cybersecurity resource, "Small Districts, Big Hurdles: Cybersecurity Support for Small, Rural, and Under-resourced Districts," highlights the efforts of state agencies and support organizations in assisting such school districts with securing their data and networks. 

This publication, released by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), is a comprehensive tool aimed at identifying vital resources, evaluating state-level K–12 cybersecurity advocacy initiatives and formulating policy recommendations to bolster cybersecurity preparedness in these school districts.

The new tool dives into multiple aspects, such as diverse funding sources, insights into statewide and regional partnerships, and practical examples of cybersecurity training, and is a valuable resource for those involved in enhancing the cybersecurity posture of school districts.

“As technology continues to reshape education, ensuring the safety and security of students’ data and school networks has never been more crucial," said SETDA Executive Director Julia Fallon. "This publication is a testament to SETDA’s dedication to supporting state education agencies’ technology initiatives and equips state edtech leaders with the resources and tools needed to guide districts, especially those facing the greatest challenges. The Cybersecurity & Privacy Collaborative hopes that this document will help prevent breaches of student and educator data while offering strategies to support and improve cybersecurity readiness for small and rural schools.”

“The human impact of breaches is greater than lost time and money for districts, with potential lifelong consequences for young people whose data may be compromised," said Paige Johnson, vice president of education marketing of Microsoft, a collaborator in the endeavor. "Microsoft is committed to increasing access to cybersecurity tools to help schools address this challenge. I commend SETDA for this focus on small, rural and underresourced districts ensuring that all students—regardless of location or context—can learn in safe and secure environments.”