On February 21st, Saginaw Township Community Schools Superintendent, Bruce Martin, noticed something unusual. Teachers began reporting difficulty accessing the school system’s network, a problem that turned out to be caused by a ransomware attack.
According to Martin, the teachers’ ability to conduct their work was not affected, and the Saginaw Intermediate School District and their tech team were able to get everything back online by Monday.
As far as ransomware attacks go, things could have gotten far worse. Some school districts have actually been forced to pay hackers to regain access to their networks. Others, like the public school system in Yazoo County, Mississippi, paid over $300,000 to have encrypted and stolen data recovered by a third-party company. In the last five years, there have been nearly 200 ransomware incidents against public schools throughout the United States — and those are just the attacks that have been publicly disclosed.
Our own Carl Heiden was consulted by the WNEM news team about the growing threat of cyber attacks against schools.
“About 90 percent of all ransomware attacks, malware, spyware, all those attacks are initiated by a user essentially clicking on a link whether it be in an email or on a website,” Carl told them.
End-user education and awareness is the key to preventing most ransomware attacks. That’s one of the reasons why Heiden Technologies is offering free cybersecurity training to Detroit businesses for one year. In light of these recent attacks, we are also extending this free offer to the education sector in and around Detroit.
With everything that’s happened in and after 2020, it’s important that we keep our education system protected and running smoothly so that our children aren’t kept away from a safe learning environment any longer than necessary.
To take advantage of this free ransomware training offer, please call 877.561.4580 or contact us directly through the chat feature of this website.
For more information about this story, please visit the WNEM website.