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District 87's cybersecurity insurance cost to jump 334%

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The District 87 school board voted Wednesday night to pay over $22,000 for cybersecurity insurance, as part of the Suburban School Cooperative Insurance Program.

Just a few years ago, District 87 was paying about $5,000 a year for cybersecurity insurance. This year, the cost has more than tripled.

The District 87 school board voted Wednesday night to pay over $22,000 for cybersecurity insurance, as part of the Suburban School Cooperative Insurance Program (SSCIP). That's a 334% premium increase over last year.

Cyber attacks have increased in the last year, and their effect is being felt by victims and those who wish to buy coverage. Superintendent Barry Reilly said that District 87 is among the local governments, hospitals and other groups who are facing this rising cost in the cyberinsurance marketplace.

“We knew this was coming, and it has been something we’ve been working on for some time. We’re not alone. This is happening all across the state with school districts. That is what pushed us to move in this direction,” said Reilly.

The cybersecurity insurance includes ransomware protections and other provisions to protect staff, administration and students of the district. District 87's limits are decreased until it fully implements multi-factor authentication that adds layers of security for user logins, according to a memo prepared for the school board ahead of Wednesday's meeting. That multi-factor authentication is expected to be done by March 30.

Reilly said District 87 has a flexible enough budget that a roughly $15,000 cost increase should not be a terrible obstacle for the schools.

“When you put it up against around $80 million (the total budget), it's pretty small," he said.

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