Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Ransomware

Improving Cybersecurity Defenses for Schools

Doug Levin of K12 SIX Says Schools Face Cybersecurity Challenges
Doug Levin, national director, K12 SIX

See Also: Every Second Counts: 6-Step Ransomware Remediation Guide

Schools in the United States have been under siege from ransomware and other kinds of cyber incidents. But there's an organization that is helping to share threat intelligence and best cybersecurity practices.

Doug Levin is national director for the K12 Security Information Exchange (K12 SIX). The organization was launched in 2020 and is dedicated to sharing threat intelligence and improving schools' baseline cybersecurity. School districts face a variety of challenges compared to other organizations, he says.

"School districts are really special types of organizations," Levin says. "They certainly are running on far fewer resources. They actually are not facing any sort of a compliance mandate with respect to cybersecurity."

Levin collates the K-12 Cyber Incident Map, which is a compilation of cybersecurity incidents at schools. It's aimed at increasing awareness of security and privacy threats facing schools.

"It was clear based on research that we were doing that both the frequency of the incidents affecting school districts as well as their severity and significance was increasing," Levin says.

In this video interview, Levin discusses:

  • How K12 SIX is helping share threat intelligence and improving baseline cybersecurity in schools;
  • What security challenges school districts face;
  • What changes in the cyber insurance market means for schools.

Levin is national director of K12 SIX. He is also the creator of the K-12 Cyber Incident Map, the most comprehensive database of cybersecurity incidents in K-12 education. Levin formerly served as executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association and has engaged in education and technology policy issues for over two decades, most prominently in helping to develop and implement the nation’s first education technology plan and strategy in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, as well as updates in 2000 and 2004 under President George W. Bush. He also consulted on the development of the 2016 plan under President Barack Obama.

About the Author

Jeremy Kirk

Jeremy Kirk

Executive Editor, Security and Technology, ISMG

Kirk was executive editor for security and technology for Information Security Media Group. Reporting from Sydney, Australia, he created "The Ransomware Files" podcast, which tells the harrowing stories of IT pros who have fought back against ransomware.

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