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IBM strengthens cybersecurity in US schools

IBM strengthens cybersecurity in US schools

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A new IBM study shows nearly 60% of school staff are unprepared for cybersecurity threats.

IBM has announced grants valued at US$3 million to help strengthen cybersecurity in schools.

These grants will be awarded to six school districts in the US to sponsor teams of IBM employees to help them proactively prepare for and respond to cyberattacks. Services will be delivered by teams deployed via IBM’s Service Corps Program.

The grant is being announced following a December alert from the FBI warning that nearly 60% of reported ransomware incidents between August and September 2020 involved K-12 schools, a 29% jump from the months prior.

In response to the growing ransomware attacks against schools, Morning Consult conducted a study, sponsored by IBM, of 1,000 US educators and administrators in K-12 schools and colleges to better understand the level of cybersecurity awareness, preparedness and training within schools during the shift to remote schooling.

The results demonstrate the growing need for improved security education and skills, as more than half of US educators and administrators have not received basic cybersecurity training from their institutions despite new remote learning protocols.

Christopher Scott, Director of Security Innovation, Office of the CISO, IBM, said: “Stay-at-home orders, and the switch to remote learning, have changed the focus for cybercriminals looking for easy targets as everyone from kindergartners to college professors have adopted remote technologies.”

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