Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tech & Science

LA schools and cybersecurity turmoil

It is unknown how the adversary gained access to the school district’s systems.

HeyTutor cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine the impact of the pandemic on teacher shortages, exploring new policies and initiatives school districts have implemented to counter this issue.
HeyTutor cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine the impact of the pandemic on teacher shortages, exploring new policies and initiatives school districts have implemented to counter this issue. - Canva
HeyTutor cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine the impact of the pandemic on teacher shortages, exploring new policies and initiatives school districts have implemented to counter this issue. - Canva

The latest cybersecurity incident to strike the beleaguered education sector has been directed at the Los Angeles Unified School District. The educational body has begun notifying contractors that social security numbers, along with other sensitive information, were exposed during a July 2022 ransomware attack.

The LA District has provided some information, and it appears that an undisclosed number of students enrolled at some point from 2013 through 2016 and some employees during that period appear to have lost information that includes their date of birth and address.

While the incident was many months ago, alerts are only now going out to those impacted. This latest attack also demonstrates again why school districts are an attractive target for threat actors. The issue also indicates why new measures should be taken to avoid the exposure of sensitive information or even school closure.

Considering the significance of the incident for Digital Journal is Stephan Chenette, Co-founder, and CTO at AttackIQ.

Chenette: expands upon the reasons why the school sector has proved to be a rich hunting grounds for malicious actors: “Educational institutions continue to be an attractive target for cybercriminals because they store large amounts of valuable Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and often lack critical resources for proper security measures.”

With the specific incident,  Chenette  considers: “It is unknown how the adversary gained access to the school district’s systems, but it is nonetheless critical for educational organizations to implement security solutions that monitor and scan the organization’s owned and managed assets for potential vulnerabilities in order to prevent disruption.”

Drawing out one reason for the vulnerability, Chenette  opines: “School districts’ lack of staff and resources to defend against cyber threats make them an attractive target for cybercriminals. The aftermath of a ransomware attack on underfunded school systems can be crippling, both financially and in loss of data.”

There are measures that can be taken to offset these types of issues, Chenette recommends: “To prevent another similar attack, school districts should study the common tactics, techniques, and procedures used by common threat actors, which will help them build more resilient security detection, prevention, and response programs mapped specifically to those known behaviors.”

In addition, Chenette puts forward the notion: “Organizations should use automated solutions that safely validate their defensive controls against ransomware campaigns and their techniques to better prepare for the next threat.”

Avatar photo
Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

You may also like:

Tech & Science

Importantly, low blood oxygen levels often have no symptoms until organs are irreparably damaged.

World

“What’s the point?” is a question Russia should have been asking for 120 years. It’s about time for an answer.

Life

I want to be able to use findings from the marketplace to inform policy.

Entertainment

Actress Brooke Shields chatted about mental health, she shared her career-defining moments, and furnished her definition of success.