Risk
5/19/2008
01:28 PM
50%
50%

Public Schools Improve Physical Security, But Cybersecurity Declines

CDW-Government's annual School Safety Index found that public schools have improved physical safety, but cybersafety scores dropped by 25% since last year.

U.S. school districts' cybersecurity efforts are hampered by tight budgets and staff constraints, according to a report from CDW-Government.

The firm released its 2008 School Safety Index on Monday. The annual report found that American public school districts have improved their physical safety, but cybersafety scores dropped by 25% since last year.

The national cybersafety average, which ranges from zero to 100, stood at 38.6 this year.

Fifty-seven percent of districts use network access control (NAC) to view and control who and what is on the network. Rural districts adopted NAC at a rate of 60%, while suburban districts adopted at a rate of 54%, according to the report. Urban districts had a 45% adoption rate, CDW-G found.

Eighty-nine percent of districts authenticate users accessing their networks, but 16% use general log-on codes instead of individual names or passwords.

Cybersecurity breaches rose in rural and suburban districts, with 14% of districts reporting at least one IT security breach in the last year. That's up from 9% reported in the 2007 index. Eighteen percent of districts with enrollments between 1,000 and 4,999 reported breaches this year, up from 8% last year.

Almost half of districts use mass notification systems (45%), and 70% of those use automated phone messages. Most send messages to faculty and staff, but not to first responders. Sixty-one percent use e-mail alerts, but just 32% use text messages.

Seventy-nine percent of the districts use security cameras, and 2% said cameras have improved safety. Again, few give local police access to live surveillance information, or digital footage, in emergencies.

Many schools have begun using sex offender databases and security teams, according to the report.

The report said that physical safety improved by 39%.

The findings are based on an April survey of IT directors from 403 districts.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2013-7401
Published: 2014-12-19
The parse_request function in request.c in c-icap 0.2.x allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a URI without a " " or "?" character in an ICAP request, as demonstrated by use of the OPTIONS method.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

CVE-2014-2716
Published: 2014-12-19
Ekahau B4 staff badge tag 5.7 with firmware 1.4.52, Real-Time Location System (RTLS) Controller 6.0.5-FINAL, and Activator 3 reuses the RC4 cipher stream, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain plaintext messages via an XOR operation on two ciphertexts.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.