Is your school district vulnerable to ransomware? Vulnerabilities are everywhere, including your employees who may inadvertently click a link or open a file that puts your network at risk. But there are many ways to reduce a district’s vulnerability and prevent ransomware attacks.
Schools Are a Target
According to EmiSoft’s State of Ransomware report,
- 88 education sector organizations were impacted by ransomware in 2021
- 62 school districts and the campuses of 26 colleges and universities
- Attacks disrupted learning at 1,043 individual schools.
Cyber criminals have discovered that just like corporations, schools are data rich, and more than that, they rely on that data to function. This makes schools a natural target for hackers who assume the district will pay a ransom rather than be shut down. Sometimes they pay rather than deal with the public ire of having a breach.
The Devastating Impact of a Data Breach
A district vulnerable to ransomware faces more than just the risk of having to pay ransoms and absorb those costs into already-tight budgets. Parents, students, and even employees whose personal data is exposed can lose faith in the district. The results beyond being shut down during recovery and having to spend a portion of the budget on recovery can result in ongoing difficulties with parents and the community, trouble retaining staff, and even lawsuits.
Protecting Student Data
There are several best practices schools should implement to reduce the risk of a cyberattack. It starts with districts recognizing the importance of cybersecurity and embracing widespread adoption of these best practices throughout every school and classroom.
GG4L provides 10 recommended best practices that schools should implement now to improve cybersecurity in their districts. There are two simple and effective measures you can take right now to have a better, safer, more secure school year:
- Train your employees. Ongoing staff training is essential for preventing ransomware attacks. When your staff recognizes phishing attempts and understands how to safely navigate attempted attacks, they are a frontline defense against your district being vulnerable to ransomware.
- Become a Member of GG4L. Schools get free membership with GG4L, a public benefit corporation. GG4L’s School Passport provides districts with a trusted digital engagement hub that empowers schools to centrally:
- Govern the exchange of student, staff, and parent PII data with SaaS vendors.
- Approve and publish apps to a district or school branded on-demand AppStore.
- Delegate to school staff and teachers the ability to activate apps within their managed groups on-demand.
GG4L’s School Passport 2.0 improves safety, privacy, and security with advanced governance and privacy tools that monitor and regulate the sharing of PII data, including email accounts.
GG4L’s School Passport 2.0 is free to any school. Learn more.