As we move through the month of September, students all across the country are starting a new school year. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers are forced to adapt to a completely different learning environment. As school districts and colleges become more reliant on online learning, the risk of a cyberattack is significantly elevated. The question is- have schools properly prepared for this increased risk, most importantly have they purchased and implemented the best software to protect their privacy?
“A ransomware attack forced Hartford, Conn., to call off the first day of classes. A website crash left many of Houston’s 200,000 students staring at error messages. And a server problem in Virginia Beach disrupted the first hours back to school there.” -New York Times
Experts predict a rise in cyberattacks as remote learning becomes more common throughout the country. Schools must properly educate their staff as well as their students on the risks of ransomware. There is no question hackers are aware of the vulnerabilities at hand and will take advantage when the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, some school districts lack cybersecurity budgets and struggle to enforce the proper software to keep their information safe. "Advocates for enhanced cybersecurity in schools have called on Congress to provide funding for better network defenses and training, but negotiations on Capitol Hill over the latest coronavirus relief package stalled before the school year started." - RollCall.com. In the meantime, school adminstrators must do what they can with the resources available. This new school year will continue to be a learning experience as millions adjust to these changes.
Schools must prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
“There is a very high likelihood this is going to be a very rocky fall for school districts with respect to cybersecurity,” said Doug Levin, president of EdTech Strategies