State auditors highlighted numerous risks in Baltimore County Public School's network. They got hacked the next day.
Officials at Baltimore County's School System received a stinging audit report on a Tuesday.
Later that day, they got hacked.
The network was not adequately secured, and sensitive personal information was not properly safeguarded. - Maryland State Auditors
The Ransomware attack halted learning for BCPS's 115,000 students and put their data at risk. In a Ransomware attack, hackers often steal as much data as they can find, then they lock up (or encrypt) the network and demand their hefty ransom.
This isn't the first time BCPS's auditors have highlighted network risks, but it also comes at a time when schools are experiencing and onslaught of cyberattacks.
Why do hackers love targeting schools?
It's VERY profitable. Let me explain:
1. Faculty and Administrators are already overwhelmed with COVID and online learning
2. This leaves them much more vulnerable to Phishing attacks.
3. Once inside, the cybercriminals grab loads of sensitive data.
4. After they grab the data, they lock up the network and issue a Ransom demand.
5. This leaves the school in a terrible negotiating position.
6. The school is often left paying a giant ransom, hoping to secure sensitive student data and unlock their network.
Our educators have massive burdens already. Unfortunately, hackers know how to exploit the chaos and confusion of the current Pandemic world.
There are three critical steps to take in stopping attacks just like this. These steps are doable for any organization, and we empower Step 1.
So, the good news is that