School Security Data Breaches can be Prevented
using these 4 Simple Methods
When students who attended Frederick County School District found out their names, birthdates and social security numbers had been breached, the school notified the FBI, and has been working with state law enforcement and technology officials. “The information was for sale online,” said Michael Doerrer, school district spokesman. Data breaches are serious events for all schools. Even with the best security systems protecting the schools computers, mistakes can still be made. There are some strategies to help minimize the risk of a data breach.
Weak Credentials (Passwords): Hacking is still the biggest cause of attacks. For years, experts have warned about the risks of relying on weak passwords to restrict who has access to the data and this is still a problem. About 81% of network intrusions involve weak credentials according to Verizon’s data breach report. It is important that you create a strong password that includes numbers, symbols, and capital and lower-case letters.
Destroy Data before Disposal: Shred paper files before disposing of private information. Destroy all portable media. Deleting files and reformatting hard drives does not erase data. Use software to permanently wipe the drive or physically destroy it. Leave electronic data destruction to the professionals here at CyberCrunch. A computer at Loyola University containing names, Social Security numbers, and some financial aid information for 5,800 students was disposed of before the hard drive was wiped. “Although we have no evidence that any of this personal information has or will be accessed, we want you to take every possible step to safeguard your privacy,” said Susan M. Malisch, Loyola Vice President and Chief Information Officer, in a letter to students.
Encryption Policy: 60% of companies that lost information to a data breach had not encrypted their data, according to a survey conducted by Ponemon Institute. In order to avoid a network security breach you should encrypt your files.
Don’t become a victim of a phishing scam: Phishing scams are typically a fraudulent email message that seems to come from someone you know. These messages usually direct you to a spoofed website or otherwise get you to divulge private information. The Redmond School District encountered a massive data breach in February of 2017 after an unknown individual impersonated the superintendent over email and obtained all employees’ names, Social Security numbers, mailing addresses and wage and tax withholding information. “We’re trying to not let anybody panic, it’s a whole new racket, with respect to stealing and theft, and it happened to hit home today,” Superintendent Mike McIntosh said. “We are trying to minimize the panic, but not minimize the importance, significance or urgency, and deal with it in a very productive and urgent manner.” McIntosh also said. Phishing scams vary widely in terms of their complexity, the quality of the forgery, and the attacker’s objective.
Contact CyberCrunch at – 866-925-2354. We can help by providing you with safe and secure recycling and data destruction to keep yours and your students sensitive information safe. Don’t let your unwanted devices and sensitive data fall into the hands of cyber criminals.