Cyber breaches threaten schools and municipalities

“The state was made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems, and we have been coordinating a response ever since,” Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards stated. Recently, ransomware hackers have taken over the computer systems of several school districts and cities. There have been at least 25 reported breaches in the last two years.

Cyber breaches are one of the most likely and most expensive threats to educational institutions and municipalities, yet few can quantify just how great their cyber risk exposure truly is. When then happens, data is lost and investments in technology become ineffective, requiring a larger investment. Most technology directors rely on old technologies or inept tools for such security, and for this reason, are vulnerable to losing vast amounts of data due to ineffective daily backups of key data. IT managers are in need of on-going education, regular security audits, and budgets to invest in malware defenses and email protection. As a result, IT managers continue to misjudge which cybersecurity capabilities they should prioritize and often obtain insufficient cybersecurity insurance protection.

No IT manager or institution has the full resources to completely eliminate cyber risks. Rootloud’s security team is about helping schools, municipalities, and businesses make the right strategic choices regarding which threats to focus on. We desire to help raise the level of competence and improve the transparency within these organizations. IT managers should not hold their own organizations hostage by invoking total fear, but educate leadership on the consequences of not investing wisely in necessary security and known vulnerabilities. Senior leaders fail to take into account the repercussions, and it is up to consultants and IT managers to help them grasp how the investments in controls will decrease the probability of a threat. With proper monitoring, we can know if cyber threats were avoided, or minimized, with the investments.

It is essential that school districts and municipalities collaborate and invest wisely to design a cyber risk strategy to mitigate that risk. With a partner like Rootloud, they can know their vulnerable areas, reduce their risk, and reduce a level of fear with an in-depth security audit, monitoring plan, and proper technology investments. Contact us to learn more.

Mitch Smith
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Mitch Smith

Mitch Smith is the executive’s trusted advisor on technology, strategy, performance improvement, and selecting the right talent. He is a serial technology entrepreneur from Charleston, and has successfully launched five technology firms over 24 years. He is an author and sought-after speaker. He and his wife of 22 years enjoy the outdoors with their three children.

Mitch, and his companies, have served over 570 organizations that include: Aflac, Chick-fil-A, Bose, Cardinal Logistics, Comporium, Darden Restaurants, Dave Ramsey, Genentech, HP, Hobby Lobby, Home Telcom, Jabil, Milliken, Nokia, Southeastern Freight, VF Corporation, and many more.

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