Cybersecurity and Cyber Safety for K-12 Schools and Districts

The information below is furnished by the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center.

The ability to securely connect to virtual systems is an important element within a safe and supportive learning environment. That is why the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center has spent the past year researching how cyber incidents affect education agencies and steps they can take to respond. The result of that research is the development of three fact sheets for schools, school districts and institutions of higher education (IHEs) on cyber safety and cybersecurity. Find details about each fact sheet below. To download a copy, click the fact sheet title.

  • Cyber Safety Considerations for K-12 Schools and Districts
    • Focuses on addressing cyber threats to students (i.e., the human element)
    • Lists and defines several of the most common cyber threats to students, including cyberbullying and access to inappropriate content.
    • Describes what schools can do before, during, and after an incident, including:
      • creating Responsible Use Policies (RUPs), filtering and blocking content, stressing digital citizenship, and providing training.
      • to whom students, teachers, and members of the public can report a concern.
    • Details how to create, review, or revise a cyber annex, including activities to address threats to students, through the six-step planning process described by the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (School Guide).
    • Provides additional resources.
  • Cybersecurity Considerations for K-12 Schools and Districts
    • Focuses on addressing threats to a school's or district's information technology network and systems.
    • Describes key privacy and confidentiality regulations and laws schools need to consider.
    • Lists and defines some of the most common threats to systems and networks, including data breaches and malware/scareware.
    • Describes what schools can do before, during, and after an incident, including:
      • creating firewalls, monitoring networks, and developing and promoting policies on responsible use.
      • to whom a school can report a cyber issue.
    • Details how to create, review, or revise a cyber annex, including activities to address threats to students, through the six-step planning process described by the School Guide.
    • Provides additional resources.

For general information related to cyber incidents, visit the NEW Topic-Specific Resources section of the REMS TA Center site:https://rems.ed.gov/Resources_Hazards-Threats_Adversarial_Threats.aspx

You may also access related Webinars we’ve created on this topic for K-12 and higher ed populations: