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5 New Cybersecurity Threats Impacting K-12 Schools

5 New Cybersecurity Threats Impacting K-12 Schools: Are You Prepared?

In an era where education relies heavily on technology, K-12 schools find themselves at the forefront of potential cybersecurity threats. As school leaders, it’s crucial to stay informed about the evolving landscape of cyber threats to protect students, staff, and sensitive data. In this article, we’ll explore five emerging cybersecurity challenges and discuss strategies to ensure your school is well-prepared.

1. The Proliferation Of AI-Powered Attacks

With the increasing sophistication of technology, AI-powered attacks have become a significant concern for K-12 schools. Cyber reports predict a rise in advanced deepfake social engineering attacks designed to exploit individuals financially. Scams using AI-generated voices impersonating family members have emerged, targeting relatives for extortion. These tactics also extend to infiltrating schools, with hackers posing as IT staff and even Principals to obtain login information. Employee awareness training and implementing security measures like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) are crucial defenses against these deceptive threats.

2. Increased Risk Of Remote Learning

The transition to remote learning has brought about new vulnerabilities that cybercriminals are eager to exploit. From video conferencing breaches to unauthorized access to learning platforms, the risks are diverse. It’s imperative for school leaders to fortify their remote learning environments by implementing robust encryption, secure authentication methods, and regular security audits. At IKON, we specialize in creating secure virtual learning spaces, ensuring a safe educational experience for all.

3. Escalation Of Ransomware Attacks:

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, posing a severe threat to K-12 schools. These attacks can cripple operations, disrupt learning, and compromise sensitive data. To mitigate this risk, schools should adopt a multi-faceted approach, including regular data backups, employee training on recognizing phishing attempts, and investing in advanced threat detection systems. Our team at IKON is dedicated to assisting schools in developing comprehensive ransomware protection strategies to minimize the impact of potential attacks.

4. IoT Attacks

As schools integrate Internet of Things (IoT) devices into their infrastructure (e.g. smart boards, security cameras, access control systems, and attendance tracking systems), they inadvertently create new entry points for cyber threats. Securing these interconnected devices is paramount. IKON specializes in implementing robust IoT security protocols, safeguarding against potential attacks, and providing ongoing monitoring and support. By ensuring the security of these devices, schools can maintain a safe and efficient learning environment.

5. Student Data Privacy Legal Requirements

Navigating student data privacy legal requirements, such as New York State Ed Law 2-D, is a critical responsibility for K-12 schools. Failure to comply can result in severe consequences. IKON offers tailored solutions to help schools meet state and federally mandated data compliance requirements. Our expertise ensures that your school remains in full adherence to privacy laws, safeguarding both students and educators.

Not Sure If You’re As Protected And Prepared As You Should Be?

As the educational landscape evolves, so do the cybersecurity threats faced by K-12 schools. To make sure you’re properly protected, get a FREE, no-obligation Cybersecurity Risk Assessment. During this assessment, we’ll review your entire system so you know exactly if and where you’re vulnerable to an attack. 

Schedule your assessment with one of our senior advisors by calling us at (212) 334-6481 or going to