Ransomware Is a Threat for the Future of Education

by | Dec 6, 2019

With governments, hospitals, and schools hit by ransomware, IT security has been a growing concern.

Why target those specifically?

Because, if these institutions aren’t functioning at full capacity there are immediate consequences.

Once ransomware is successfully deployed onto devices or servers, hackers demand heavy ransoms to release the encrypted systems. Because of the critical nature of these institutions, if no other option is present the only choice is to pay the ransom. This is hitting schools in particular especially hard.

Schools Hit by Ransomware

  • In July, Rockville Center School District paid $100,000 to hackers to have their data decrypted from a RYUK ransomware attack. 
  • 15 schools in Arizona had to be closed for two days following a ransomware attack on Flagstaff Unified School District affecting 9,600 students.
  • Email, Wi-Fi, and other “Tech-based Tools” were disabled for weeks following an attack on San Bernadino Unified Public School District in October.
  • On November 20th, Livingston Public Schools in New Jersey had classes delayed following a ransomware attack that took down several systems but most notably their VoIP phone systems remain down at this time. 

The list goes on.

How Does the Technology Supporting Education Need To Change for the Future?

Technology needs of school districts have expanded beyond the expertise of a one-person IT department.

There is both the teacher’s productivity needs on the front end and the network/data security and privacy on the back-end. As these both become increasingly more complex and hackers tactics become more refined, securing your school district becomes more difficult.

Along with expanding IT resources, establishing a threat education and awareness program at your school educates your staff on the distinguishing factors of malicious emails/attacks.

Learn more about how ITonDemand supports the Lynden Public School District in the video below!

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