Skip to Main Content

BOG Approves $100M for Tech Infrastructure in 2022-23

November 18, 2021

Smiling African-American woman and Caucasian man examine computer server equipmentThe shift to a largely virtual environment during the pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in higher education technology infrastructure, as institutions around the world have become a common target for a type of cyber attack known as ransomware.

In light of this growing threat and the increased technology costs colleges are bearing as a result, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors approved a request for $100 million in statewide technology investment to be included in the 2022-23 budget.

In its 2022-23 System Budget Proposal, the Chancellor’s Office asked for $75 million one-time and $25 million ongoing funding to modernize systemwide and local technology infrastructure to be better positioned to address ransomware attacks and protect sensitive data.

As part of the investment, $7.63 million is earmarked for upgrades to the CCCApply statewide admission application system. The funding will also provide for additional information security resources, a statewide financial aid verification platform, and support for increased technology costs colleges are incurring related to remote instruction and programs.

The budget proposal cited a Sophos survey that found nearly half of all education institutions globally were targeted by ransomware in 2020. Among California community colleges that reported ransomware incidents in 2019 and 2020, the Chancellor’s Office estimated the average length of system interruption was 15 days, with a ransom cost of over $100,000 per incident.