How school districts can prepare for likely ransomware attacks | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A cybersecurity professor at Ferris State University says ransomware attacks on schools are unfortunately common.

ROCKFORD, Mich. — The Rockford Public School District isn’t the first and won’t be the last to suffer from a ransomware attack.

13 ON YOUR SIDE told you about the ransomware attack on Wednesday.

Ferris State University Cybersecurity Professor Greg Gogolin said this is unfortunately common for school districts because they have minimal prevention measures in place or staff to fight these kinds of incidents.

He explained a ransomware attack is when someone encrypts or disguises your information and then demands money for a key to undo it. This is different from when someone actually steals your data.

“We’re actually entering the busy season for schools getting hit with this type of thing,” Gogolin said.

With grades due and the end of the school year days away, he explained the pressure can be on to resolve a hack and therefore pay up.

He added more affluent districts are a popular target because attackers know they have resources from which to benefit.

To minimize impact, Gogolin advises districts prioritize teaching staff about phishing emails and use advanced email filtering. Plus, he said high tech security is a must if your district uses its own email system.

He said teachers should keep a copy of their grades and curriculum resources somewhere other than a school computer if possible. Students should also keep a copy of recent assignments at home.

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National Cyber Security