TCEA 2022: One School District Shares What Not to Do to Prevent a Ransomware Attack

Tasshi Rowe reports:

“It’s like your home was robbed, and there’s nothing you can do about it. We had 800 employees and 5,200 kids, and everybody is shut down,” said Julie Gauthier.

The deputy superintendent of Port Neches-Groves Independent School District in southeast Texas explained to a room full of TCEA attendees in Dallas what it felt like when her school district was hacked back in November 2019.

“It was a nightmare,” Superintendent Mike Gonzalez agreed. “We couldn’t believe this happened to us. We didn’t believe that it could happen to us. There’s tremendous pressure, and you want to get things right, but we quickly realized it was not going to be a quick fix.”

With ransomware attacks top of mind for many school districts, it was not surprising that there were multiple TCEA sessions on the topic and that employees from several districts were willing to share their experiences.

Read more at EdTech.

The Port Neches-Grove case had been noted on at the time, and to show you how ransomware has mushroomed over the 2+ years, at that time, the district wound up paying $35,000 in BTC ransom. Now districts often encounter demands in the hundreds of thousands or millions — or in Broward Public School District’s case — TENS of millions of dollars.

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