National Cybersecurity Standards

  • Published: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021

On Oct. 8, 2021, President Biden signed the K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 into law. This law is a response to data security incidents that have targeted schools in recent years. 

This legislation will allow the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to conduct a study of threats impacting K-12 schools. CISA will then develop an online training toolkit. While the formation and contents of the toolkit have not yet been detailed, the aim is that this toolkit will assist schools with strengthening their protections of their network, data and personal information. At this time, the recommendations that arrive from the study are a voluntary adoption by the schools.

Knowing how important cybersecurity is in our daily activities, policymakers hope that all schools will readily adopt these recommendations. But where to start? Will these recommendations involve infrastructure fortifications as well as cybersecurity awareness education for staff and students? A national standard for K-12 cybersecurity was released in August 2021. For nearly a year, Cyber.org facilitated a collaborative effort with industry and educational experts to formulate cybersecurity learning standards for K-12.

We can optimistically see that the combination of the federal toolkit and the National Cybersecurity Learning Standards will improve the cybersecurity posture in K-12 schools, leading to better protection and awareness of cyber threats. 

K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021
K12 Cybersecurity Learning Standards
 

Writer: Kathy Bellew