SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Assemblyman Rudy Salas has introduced a bill aimed at strengthening cybersecurity protocols at local schools.
With Assembly Bill 2326, Salas is looking to increase coordination between the state and school districts while establishing best practices to respond to incidents in the future. Currently, there is little significant coordination between the state and local districts to respond to cyber attacks.
Salas introduced the legislation in response to recent attacks on local school districts that have cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and exposed personal information of children to hackers.
On Jan. 10, the Panama-Buena Vista School District was hit with a ransomware attack that knocked out phone lines, took down email services and blocked access to the district’s grading system.
“We need to take action to protect our children’s personal information and prevent future cyber attacks on our schools,” Salas said. “Schools have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransomware cyber attacks, this funding could be better spent on our students’ education.”
AB 2326 is focused on bringing stakeholders together to address gaps in California’s response to cyber attacks to ensure that schools are not spending taxpayer dollars on ransoms and that children’s private information is protected.
“Protecting school networks and systems from digital attacks that may compromise sensitive student data and disrupt normal operations is more important today than ever before,” said Mary C. Barlow, Kern County Superintendent of Schools. “We appreciate Assemblyman Salas’ attention and concern in this regard and we look forward to partnering to help him identify statewide best practices and collaborating on initiatives in an effort to further cybersecurity in our schools.”