As it turns out, many schools spend a lot of their money on teachers and students. Some spend money on new devices for the students, but in a recent New York Times article many school systems were called out for breaches and other cybersecurity issues.
One such system was the Houston County Schools, whose servers were attacked by malware. This forced the district to start school over a week late. They will now be starting on August 12, 2019. Employees of the school system are said to be working hard to re-install everything, and it is unclear if student or payroll information was affected. However, teachers have been asked to not use their school computers until further notice.
In Louisiana, three school districts were hit hard by a virus that disabled computers, and even one district office’s phone system. Consequently, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency. Louisiana is working with State Police, the FBI, the state’s National Guard, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Louisiana Office of Technology Services, and other agencies to respond to this incident. In other words, they aren’t taking this lightly.
The hacking of schools is not limited to K-12 systems. Monroe College in New York was hacked and held ransom for $2 million in Bitcoin. The school’s website wasn’t accessible after the hack and it affected all of the campuses.
Even students are doing some of the hacking. In March 2019, Michigan students hacked into Orchard View Schools computer system to change grades and attendance records. The school district notified the parents of the students involved, but it’s unknown if law enforcement has been involved.
This just goes to show that no one is immune to cyber hacks and breaches. Even if you work for a completely different industry, cyber security is something that everyone needs to keep in mind. To test how well a network, website, and employees are doing, you can purchase penetration testing or social engineering and get detailed results.