Information Security

Cloudflare Offers Zero Trust Program Free to Small K–12 School Districts

Internet security company Cloudflare announced a new initiative at the recent White House “Back to School Safely: Cybersecurity for K–12 Schools” event: it will provide Zero Trust cybersecurity for small public school districts up to 2,500 students at no charge, and with no time limit.

The program is called Project Cybersafe Schools.

Cloudflare noted that small school districts often lack the ability or funds to protect themselves against cyberthreats. Yet, those threats are increasing, the company said: During the second quarter of 2023 alone, it blocked 70 million security breach attempts every day in the U.S. education sector.

The company also cited examples of ransomware attacks in 2022 against large school districts in Los Angeles and Albuquerque that compromised the data and safety of tens of thousands of students.

Cloudflare’s Cybersafe program aims to take the following actions:

  • Safeguard inboxes from targeted cyberattacks to protect against multiple threats, including multichannel phishing, credential harvesting, and others;

  • Stop confidential student data leaks by preemptively blocking phishing, Business Email Compromise attacks, malware-less fraud, and more; and

  • Improve browsing by preventing users from going to harmful content like ransomware or phishing sites with DNS filtering.

As a member of the government’s Joint Cyber Defense Collective, Cloudflare says its program complies with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

“As another school year is set to begin, we are committed — in tandem with the White House — to help our nation’s schools better protect themselves so they can focus on what they do best: teaching students,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare.

School districts interested in signing up can go directly to the application page.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.