With parents, children and teachers gearing up for the start of a new year, it seems that cybercriminals are also going back to school with several states declaring state-wide emergency declarations due to cyberattacks on several school districts.

Hackers have dispersed ransomware attacks throughout many districts, taking over school networks and encrypting the data until a ransom is paid to release the hijacked information. Other attacks have been used to collect valuable private data from students, staff and parents to be sold to identity thieves on the dark web.

One of the most recent states to fall victim is Louisiana. Working with the FBI, the Louisiana National Guard and the State Police, school boards are investigating the spread of the attack and mitigating the breaches. Several northern New York school districts have also been hit with cyberattacks, as well as the Onondaga County Public Library.

Over the past year, school districts in Atlanta, Baltimore and throughout Florida have fallen victim to ransomware attacks, and many chose to pay off the perpetrators in order to release their information. These payoffs drive the hackers to continue attacking districts since there is a strong likelihood that they will be paid to go away.

The New York Times reports that school districts have proved particularly enticing to hackers because they hold troves of private data and schools often lack the resources to fend off intruders.

The majority of school districts in the U.S. have less than 2,500 students and don’t have dedicated cybersecurity staff which can leave them vulnerable to attacks such as these.

That’s where BlackHawk Data can help. We’re public sector experts and we understand the burdens that school districts face in managing security and budgets. Our team works with leading security vendors to help organizations address persistent threats.

We stay on top of the latest security trends and issues, and participate in active research in order for you to benefit from our breadth of learned expertise and our depth of applied real-world knowledge.

Our managed security services include:

  • Network and security operations center support
  • Event monitoring and incident management
  • Analyze, correlate and prioritize security event log
  • Analyze, classify, prioritize and contain security incidents
  • Detailed monthly reporting

Contact us to learn how we can help secure your present and your future.

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