Mar 15 2023

E-Rate Funds Can Boost K–12 Cybersecurity

Sophos helps schools apply funding to certain cybersecurity solutions, from firewalls to support services.

Schools can’t use E-rate funding for strictly cyber tools when it comes to cybersecurity, and ed tech advocates like the Consortium for School Networking have been lobbying to change that.

The federal funds are intended to help schools “obtain affordable broadband,” according to the Federal Communications Commission, the organization responsible for distributing E-rate funding. However, most districts now have broadband, especially following pandemic changes to get students online. As a result, there’s a push to expand E-rate to include more cybersecurity solutions.

In the meantime, the cyber components of certain network upgrades are covered by E-rate. This gives schools a unique window of opportunity to ramp up their digital defenses and better protect student privacy.

How Can Schools Fund Cybersecurity Upgrades with E-Rate?

“E-rate category two includes all the internal connections needed for broadband connectivity within schools and libraries. It also includes network infrastructure, which is where firewall services come in,” says Rob Lalumondier, vice president of federal sales at Sophos.

There’s cybersecurity embedded in all of that, and the government will help pay for it.

EXPLORE: Learn more about cybersecurity solutions from Sophos with CDW•G.

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