FCC Pilot Program Enhances Security Measures for K-12 Schools and Libraries


Seattle Public Library’s Ransomware Attack: Road to Recovery and Cybersecurity Funding Initiatives

One month after the Seattle Public Library’s systems were hit by a ransomware attack, the library is still in the process of restoring its services for staff and patrons. Some resources are back online, but the library is far from being fully operational.

According to a recent statement from the library, staff will be able to access the network again, but they won’t have access to patron accounts or the library catalog just yet. The recovery process requires careful assessment, testing, communication, documentation, and troubleshooting for each system that comes back online.

The library’s technology team is working diligently to restore access to vital services like patron accounts, the library catalog, in-building Wi-Fi, computers, and printers. However, there is no clear timeline for when all services will be fully functional again, leaving many community members who rely on the library for these resources feeling stranded.

This incident is not isolated, as cyberattacks on public institutions are becoming increasingly common. The British Library is still recovering from an attack last October, and nearly a third of U.S. K-12 schools have been victims of cyberattacks, according to the Center for Internet Security.

To combat the rising threat of cyberattacks on schools and libraries, the FCC has approved the Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program. This initiative will provide up to $200 million in Universal Service Fund support for advanced cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information and ensure secure access to digital learning tools. By investing in cybersecurity, schools and libraries can safeguard their operations and protect the personal information of students, staff, and patrons.

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