Critical Infrastructure Security, Training

FCC OKs pilot to bolster school, library cybersecurity

key on monitor screen, cybersecurity concept

Growing cybersecurity threats against the U.S. education sector have prompted the Federal Communications Commission to approve the $200 million Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program, which would ensure investment in sophisticated endpoint protection, identity authentication, and firewall systems for schools and libraries across the country over the next three years, reports StateScoop.

Such a program — which will use a model akin to the FCC's E-Rate program in selecting the educational entities that would be supported — was noted by Funds for Learning to require $823.4 million in funding should all schools and libraries across the U.S. seek additional cybersecurity investment.

"The cybersecurity threats facing our educational institutions are significant. This pilot program represents a crucial step in providing the resources necessary to safeguard sensitive information and maintain secure, reliable access to digital learning tools," said Funds for Learning CEO John Harrington.

Such a development comes amid increased federal urgency to bolster cyber defenses in the education sector following a Government Accountability Office report showing the toll of K-12 ransomware attacks to exceed 600,000 in 2021.

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