Center for Internet Security Offers No-cost Resources to Address Ransomware Crisis in K-12 Schools
Cybersecurity protection is available to U.S. public schools through the MS-ISAC
EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y., July 10, 2023 — In response to a recent Associated Press report detailing alarming incidents of ransomware attacks targeting K-12 schools, the Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) is striving to raise awareness of the no-cost solutions available to all public school districts in the United States.
The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (MS-ISAC®), operated by CIS, and funded through a partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), empowers K-12 schools with tools, resources, and expertise necessary to defend against ransomware attacks and safeguard the data and personal information of students, parents, faculty, and staff at no cost to the district.
According to the AP report, “Often strapped for cash, districts are grossly ill-equipped not just to defend themselves but to respond diligently and transparently when attacked.” MS-ISAC membership provides solutions to both issues and more.
MS-ISAC members receive:
- 24x7x365 threat monitoring by a team of cybersecurity professionals in CIS’s Security Operations Center (SOC)
- Incident response support in the event of ransomware or other cyber attacks
- Training programs, webinars, and workshops tailored specifically for the K-12 community
- Best practices and guidance
- Collaboration and information sharing with other K-12 districts and cybersecurity professionals across the country
- No-cost technology that can be implemented in as little as 15 minutes, to prevent users from connecting to harmful websites, limiting malware, ransomware, phishing, and other cyber threats
The MS-ISAC stands ready to assist K-12 schools in building their cyber defenses, demonstrating their commitment to safeguarding student privacy, maintaining public trust, and ensuring a safe educational experience for all.
“Here at the Center for Internet Security, we understand the implications of ransomware attacks on schools and the profound impact they can have on both the institutions as well as on the lives of students, families, and educators,” said Carlos Kizzee, Senior Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement Operations at CIS. “We urge educational leaders to explore the value of MS-ISAC membership, where they can take advantage of resources and assistance that can significantly enhance their cybersecurity posture, help them fortify their defenses, and aid the mitigation of risks associated with these malicious cyber activities.”
John Wargo, Director of Technology at a K-12 Educational Service Agency in Pennsylvania and MS-ISAC Executive Committee Member, says becoming a member of the MS-ISAC is one of the most powerful decisions a K-12 school district can make. “In my 36 years in the K-12 community, I have not found a better way to receive the intelligence and cybersecurity resources to help mount an effective cyber defense—and at little-to-no cost.”
To speak with CIS about no-cost cybersecurity protection for schools, please contact CIS Media Relations Manager Kelly Wyland at [email protected] or call/text: 518-256-6978.
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Grant Award Number, (19PDMSI00002). The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) makes the connected world a safer place for people, businesses, and governments through our core competencies of collaboration and innovation. We are a community-driven nonprofit, responsible for the CIS Critical Security Controls® and CIS Benchmarks™, globally recognized best practices for securing IT systems and data. We lead a global community of IT professionals to continuously evolve these standards and provide products and services to proactively safeguard against emerging threats. Our CIS Hardened Images® provide secure, on-demand, scalable computing environments in the cloud. CIS is home to the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (MS-ISAC®), the trusted resource for cyber threat prevention, protection, response, and recovery for U.S. State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) government entities, and the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (EI-ISAC®), which supports the rapidly changing cybersecurity needs of U.S. election offices. To learn more, visit CISecurity.org or follow us on Twitter: @CISecurity.