FCC to vote on $200 million cybersecurity program for schools, libraries | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel on Wednesday announced that the agency’s June meeting will feature a slew of agenda items that seek to combat security challenges, including potential funding to support cybersecurity efforts for schools and libraries.

The three year, $200 million pilot Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Program, which was proposed in September, seeks to protect schools and libraries from cyberattacks and provide the agency with information on which cybersecurity and advanced firewall services help most in protecting educational settings.

“This pilot program is an important pathway for hardening our defenses against sophisticated cyberattacks on schools and ransomware attacks that harm our students and get in the way of their learning,” Rosenworcel said in a press release in September. “Ultimately, we want to learn from this effort, identify how to get the balance right, and provide our federal, state and local government partners with actionable data about the most effective and coordinated way to address this growing problem.”

The program is part of Rosenworcel’s Learn Without Limits initiative to ensure connectivity in schools and libraries across the country. The $200 million program would be established within the Universal Service Fund, separate from the commission’s E-Rate program, which provides monthly discounts on internet services to schools and libraries.

The Washington D.C. nonprofit Consortium for School Networking applauded the FCC’s pursuit of enhanced cybersecurity for schools and libraries.

“This pilot program is a crucial step in protecting our students and ensuring that their learning experiences are not disrupted by malicious cyber threats,” Keith Krueger, chief executive officer of the consortium, said in a press release Thursday. “We look forward to working with the FCC and other stakeholders to make this initiative a success, including by using E-rate to create a safer online environment for all learners.”

Written by Skylar Rispens

Skylar Rispens is a reporter for StateScoop and EdScoop. She previously worked as a reporter specializing in education coverage for daily and weekly newspapers across Montana, where she currently resides.


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