Cyber criminals are attacking public schools at an alarming rate. In the past four weeks, at least five school districts here in Michigan have suffered debilitating cyber attacks where their sensitive information was at risk. Malicious actors are exposing personally identifiable information, demanding millions of dollars of ransom, and districts are losing valuable time and money before they are able to regain control of their systems.
Threats and phishing attacks continue to become more sophisticated and difficult to spot. “It is imperative that your staff is not only aware of these heightened attacks on the education community, but know how to stop the attack, and report it appropriately,” says Amy Guilford, Chief Program Administrator at SET SEG. “Early detection is the key – alerting your IT team right away gives them a better chance at shutting down the threat and minimizing damage.”
If an incident does occur, do not attempt to resolve the incident using internal resources. Contact your business office immediately so they can reach out to your district’s risk management partner to deploy a team of legal and forensic specialists.
Protect Your School Immediately
Conduct ongoing security awareness training – sign up for a cyber security training tool, like KnowBe4, to help your staff spot and stop these attacks. If your district is a member of SET SEG, you’re eligible to receive a significant discount on this particular subscription. It is one of the best lines of defense you can deploy to prevent a cyber event at your school.
Establish policies – only allow district-issued computers onto district-owned networks.
Backup data offsite – keep a secure offsite copy of your information or remove any online backups from the main network. Deploy a password management tool – utilize Multi-Factor Authentication to require individuals to verify their identities prior to logging into a system.
Brought to you by SET SEG as a Diamond Sponsor for the 2021 MSBO Annual Conference & Exhibit Show.
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