New Jersey School District — Attacked!

Ransomware Attack on New Jersey School District

Last month Tenafly Public Schools – a school district in New Jersey experienced chaos when ransomware crippled their computer systems. Members of the district first noticed something was wrong when they were not able to access any of their files normally. 

They hired a cybersecurity expert to evaluate the situation and responded to the attack by shutting everything down in an effort to isolate the incident, but the damage had already been done. Students, parents, and teachers lost access to the school’s Google Classroom, emails, and other grading systems as a result of the attack.

Teachers were forced to modify lesson plans and take a more hands-on approach, because they were unable to access online materials and lesson plans. Students were doing things the ‘old fashioned way’ using the overhead projectors and assignments on paper rather than on the computer. With the lack of access to study materials, the staff made the decision to cancel final exams and there are no plans to reschedule them.

Tenafly school district is recovering slowly but surely from this ransomware attack and is looking forward to making improvements in their data security in the future. Although students are probably thrilled that they were able to skip out on final exams, this ransomware attack caused a lot of grief.

There is no word on who is responsible for the cyber attack or how much money they requested but the school district did say that law enforcement is involved in the investigation.

Luckily the staff and students in the district remained positive and optimistic through the incident. Christine Corliss, the district communications manager said “we have system issues and we have to deal with it, but it kind of brings you back in time a bit to do things the old fashioned way. And there’s something to be said for a little bit of that too. So, we see a lot more face-to-face, a lot more phone calls and a lot less email,” (New Jersey Cancels Finals After Ransomware Attack)

If a ransomware attack can happen to a small school district in New Jersey, it can happen to you too. “Of the 17 industries studied by information-security company SecurityScorecard, the education sector ranked as the least secure in 2018, with the highest vulnerabilities present in application security, endpoint security, and keeping software up to date.” (Our Biggest Nightmare Is Here) And with the shift to more online learning the past few years, there is even more of an opportunity for cyber criminals to infiltrate systems and leave schools and districts in a bind.

Ransomware attacks are not going anywhere so the best thing you can do for your company, district, or organization is have a plan in place to ensure you are protected in the event of an attack. Trinsio partners with Rubrik to bring you enterprise-level data management and security technology but for a fraction of the cost. With Rubrik, Trinsio will provide you a solution that you can rely on. 

Contact us today to see how we can help you find a solution for your organization or business. 

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