Who is K12 Six

K12 SIX, also known as the K12 Security Information eXchange, is a national non-profit information sharing and analysis center dedicated to the K-12 education facilities critical infrastructure subsector. Launched in late 2020 as a subsidiary of the Global Resilience Federation, K12 SIX serves public and private school systems of all sizes, regional education agencies (ESAs), and state departments of education (SEAs). The organization provides multi-directional information sharing, develops school-specific best practices and guidance, offers professional development to K-12 IT leaders, and advocates for the cybersecurity needs of the sector. Its membership spans across the United States, serving millions of students from coast to coast. K12 SIX is committed to enhancing the cybersecurity posture of the K-12 education sector and protecting it from cyber threats.

What is Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA) and How Does it Affect K-12 Schools

The Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA) is a federal regulation that aims to institute cyber incident reporting requirements for critical infrastructure sectors, including the K-12 education sector. This would be the first time such requirements are imposed on the K-12 sector at a federal level. The goal of CIRCIA is to enhance the nation’s civil cyber defense by improving the timeliness and actionability of information on cyber incidents. For K-12 schools, this could mean increased transparency and accountability in handling cyber threats. However, it also presents challenges as schools would need to ensure they have the necessary resources and protocols in place to comply with these reporting requirements. The impact of CIRCIA on K-12 schools will largely depend on the specifics of the final regulations and the support provided to schools to meet these requirements.

K12 Six’s Response to CIRCIA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Per CIRCIA, the Department of Homeland Security has requested feedback from affected parties on proposed rule changes. These changes directly affect K12 schools for the first time and will significantly impact K12 schools, both public and private. As such, K12 Six commented on the rules. Below is a summary of those comments:

  • Submission of Comments: K12 SIX submitted comments on the proposed federal cyber incident reporting requirements under the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA).
  • Support for CIRCIA: They support the aims of CIRCIA, viewing it as foundational for national civil cyber defense.
  • Challenges Identified: K12 SIX highlighted the difficulty in obtaining actionable information on K-12 cyber incidents, which affects policy-making and law enforcement, and increases risks of identity theft and fraud.
  • Call to Action: Interested parties can submit comments on the CIRCIA NPRM until July 3, 2024. Directions for submitting comments can be found on the K12 SIX website.

For a more detailed overview and to participate in the discussion, please visit the K12 SIX website and follow this link to submit your own comments.

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