CoSN Unveils 2023 K-12 Cybersecurity Policy Developments Report
Annual Report Provides Comprehensive Overview of State and Federal Policies and Trends
Washington, D.C. (January 18, 2024) – CoSN today released the 2023 Education Cybersecurity Policy Developments report, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that inventories state and federal education cybersecurity bills and laws that emerged in 2023. The comprehensive resource also highlights notable policy ideas and trends, offering valuable insights for education technology leaders, school administrators and policymakers to evaluate and potentially adopt in their respective states and communities in the year ahead.
As the report underscores, cyberattacks in education today pose a costly, educationally disruptive and ever-evolving threat to schools, jeopardizing confidential and personally identifiable information they collect and maintain. Compared to 2020, when CoSN began monitoring policymakers’ responses to the growing number of attacks, there has been a 250% increase in the number of education cybersecurity bills introduced by state legislators. Additionally, the number of new laws adopted by states surged by 620%.
“Policymakers increasingly understand that K-12 education is under siege from cyber threats. School systems hold a vast amount of sensitive information about students and staff that cybercriminals can exploit, and it is imperative for both states and the federal government to enhance their efforts to secure educational networks and data,” said Keith R. Krueger, CEO of CoSN.
The report, “Education Cybersecurity Policy Developments in 2023,” highlights:
- Legislators in 42 states introduced 307 cybersecurity bills with direct or indirect focus on the education sector compared to 232 similar bills that were introduced in 2022, 170 bills in 2021 and 87 such bills in 2020.
- Governors signed 75 new cybersecurity laws in 33 states with education implications. This actively represents a significant increase from previous years, when governors signed 37 bills in 2022, 49 in 2021 and ten in 2020. Legislation in 2023 largely sought policy revisions that applied to all state and local government rather than specifically focusing on school districts, covering a variety of cybersecurity policies and strategies.
- Legislators introduced 22 federal cybersecurity bills, including five bills with an education focus. This figure compares to 22 federal bills introduced in 2022, 19 such bills in 2021 and 10 bills in 2020.
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. cosn.org
Makenzie Carlin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-967-6954