Cyberattacks against school districts on the rise

Think public schools would be the last target for a cyber-attacker? Think again. As per theK-12 Cybersecurity ResourceCenter, there have been over 400 cyberattacks on public schools in the last three years. 2018 by itself saw over 122 cyber-attacks on schools with over 60% resulting in data breaches.

Phishing to DDOS

The attacks have ranged from phishing emails, to ransomware and malware to Denial of Service attacks. Most of the victimized schools attributed to the incidents to one of the following -

  • Attack by external parties with malicious intent

  • Breach by students (the curious ones as well as the ones that wanted to modify grades)

  • Unauthorized disclosures by school staff (Human error as well as malicious intent)

  • Unauthorized disclosures by vendors (Human error, Poor security Controls)

One of the big breaches of 2018 happened in Pennsylvania where the Department of educations, Teacher Information Management System was compromised exposing data of over 330,000 staff members. Another breach saw the Florida Virtual School exposing the confidential data of over 368,000 students, parents and staff members over a two-year period. But the biggest of them of was a phishing attack against California’s San Diego Unified School District which resulted in compromising more than 500,000 students and staff.

FBI issues warning

Numerous other incidents of ransomware, student hacking and major data breaches actual led the FBI to issue a Public Service Announcement articulating the growing potential of cyber threats in the public education space. Schools collect a variety of data from students, parents, staff members and vendors. This makes them easy targets for cybercriminals.

How to prevent?

Gone are the days when you could deploy antivirus, install a few firewalls and feel confident about your organization being secure from malicious actors, whether they are outside or inside. Cybersecurity is now a 24*7 priority. A unified cybersecurity monitoring service that centralizes threat detection, routine vulnerability scans, incident response, and compliance management across your on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environments will provide your school district with 360 degree visibility 24*7.

OnDemand SOC - Siemba's 24*7 Unified Cybersecurity Monitoring Service

Siemba's Security Operations Centers in Alpharetta, Georgia will enhance your security posture with the following capabilities:

  • 24*7 Security Event Monitoring & Alerting

  • Vulnerability Assessment

  • Compliance Reporting

  • Integrated Counter Intelligence

  • Endpoint Detection & Response

  • User Activity Monitoring

  • SIEM & Log Management

  • Intrusion Detection

  • Automated Asset Discovery

  • Cloud-based log retention

Contact Siemba today to take steps to help your organization prevent deadly breaches and the associated costs. Learn more about Siemba's On-Prem and Cloud Security capabilities that will optimize your defense in depth.