IBM Boosts Cybersecurity Confidence in Schools

IBM Boosts Cybersecurity Confidence in Schools

By Greg Tavarez

Cyberattacks target not only businesses, but also education institutions. In fact, IBM's 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report revealed that the cost of a data breach averages $3.86 million for education institutions, and 30% of successful cyberattacksin education  occurred because of human error. This stat indicates that cybersecurity training and education is needed in schools.

IBM launched a grant program in 2021, the Education Security Preparedness Grants program, to help schools become better prepared for cyberattacks. For 2022, IBM received more than 120 applications from schools across the U.S. and expanded overseas as schools sought help against cyberattacks. The first eight recipients of the 2022 program named include:

  • City of Dublin Educational Training Board, Ireland
  • Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, UAE
  • Cupertino Union School District, Sunnyvale, California
  • Rossville Cons. School District, Rossville, Indiana
  • East China School District, East China, Michigan
  • Newburgh Enlarged City School District, Newburgh, New York
  • Goffstown School District, Goffstown, New Hampshire
  • Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas, Virginia

The grant applications IBM reflected on the schools' levels of cybersecurity awareness, preparedness and training that is needed. Findings revealed that one in four applicants experienced a breach, only 20% of schools have cybersecurity personnel and the majority of school districts lacked a cybersecurity plan.

Through the grant, IBM Service Corps volunteers work with the schools to help them proactively prepare for and respond to cyber threats through various engagements: the creation of incident response plans, ransomware playbooks, updating technology and cybersecurity training for school communities.

“Cyberattacks on schools do not only impact the schools themselves as the aftermath cascades down to students and their families, creating a very palpable effect on their communities," said Charles Henderson, global managing partner and head of IBM Security X-Force. "We're proud to be able to support schools through this initiative by helping to address critical gaps in security resources and planning and preparedness."

Patrice Key-Rhone, global director of employee giving and volunteerism at IBM, echoed Henderson and stated that IBM and its volunteers created equitable impact by supporting schools around the globe through its education and volunteer programs.



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