Cyber Challenges in K-12 Public Schools

J. Brett Carruthers, CSP, RSSP
Vice President & Director of Risk Management, Wright Public Entity and New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal
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Brett Carruthers shares the challenges he experiences in the cyber market and what is driving them in the public sector, especially with K-12 entities.

He explains what K-12 entities can do to overcome these challenges and how to make smart investment choices for their district. It comes down to many factors, some of which include understanding state legislation, communicating with stakeholders, employing staff training, and improving cyber protection through protocols such as multi-factor authentication. Also important is establishing effective board of education policies, tightening policies on downloads, malware protection, firewalls and maintaining regular backups.

*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs/podcasts are those of each respective author/speaker. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*

J. Brett Carruthers, CSP, RSSP
Vice President & Director of Risk Management, Wright Public Entity and New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal

Summary of Qualifications

Brett is a safety and risk management professional with 35 years of experience, the last 25 in public sector safety and risk management working with municipalities and public school districts.


Brett is the vice president and director of risk management for the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal. He oversees and protects $50 Billion in total insured value; 9,500 motor vehicles, 250,000 educators and administrators and, most importantly, one million public school children in New York State. Brett has over 35 years of diverse safety, security and risk management experience and is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BS degree in safety sciences and a minor in human resource management. He is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and has served ASSP as an officer at the local, regional and national levels. Brett was recently inducted as a Fellow by the Los Angeles Council of Engineering and Scientists, and has received a number of awards for his contributions to the safety profession.

Business Experience

  • Wright Public Entity and NYSIR - 1997 to Present
  • The BC Group - 1993 to 1997
  • Occidental Chemical Corporation - 1989 to 1993
  • Kemper Insurance - 1984 to 1989
  • Henry J. Kaiser Company - 1983 to 1984
  • Citizen's Ambulance Service - 1977 to 1983

    ERM Experience

    Contributed to the development of NYSIR's ERM program.

    Professional Affiliations

    • American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP)
    • PRIMA


    B.S. Safety Sciences and Minor - HR Management (Indiana University of PA)

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