In the News | Cybersecurity Expert: K-12 Schools Should Do This Now

This article was originally published in The Epoch Times on 2.23.23 by Lawrence Wilson

Cyberattacks on U.S. schools are on the rise, but basic security measures are relatively simple and inexpensive to take

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting schools, according to a Jan. 2022 report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Yet many cyberattacks are relatively simple to guard against, said Charlie Sander, CEO of ManagedMethods, a firm specializing in cybersecurity for K-12 schools.

The main thing is to take the threat seriously and take action on the most obvious vulnerabilities, Sander told The Epoch Times.

“Schools aren’t going to get a lot more money [for cybersecurity], but what they can do is have the conversation at all levels of the administration and board about how important it is. A lot of schools haven’t covered the basic stuff yet.”

Prime Targets

“The hacking community is basically an organized crime organization at a high level, and they’re always looking for the soft underbelly,” Sander said.

Phishing, ransomware, denial of service attacks, and video conference disruptions hit at least 45 U.S. school districts that operate 1,981 schools in 2022, according to Emsisoft, a maker of cybersecurity software.

Schools typically devote their few IT resources to organizational and educational needs, making security a lower priority.

“They do the best they can with the funding they have,” said Sander. “But if you look at their priorities, number one is to give the best learning experience they can for the students. If there’s money left over, that’s for cybersecurity.”

Hackers may also target schools for attack because students generally don’t monitor their credit scores. That makes them ripe targets for the theft of personal information, which can be used for identity fraud…



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