IT Pros Warn of Potential Cyberattack Dangers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — School is in session, but instead of heading into the classroom many kids are logging onto their computer, and IT professionals are warning that could cause serious problems.

“With every school going into this new realm I just don’t think we’re prepared,” said Quentin Rhoads-Herrera, Director of Professional Services at Critical Start. “Especially since a lot of them kind of quickly had to stand up this new technology, and quickly buy into these vendors. There hasn’t been a lot of attention placed into security in the educational space.”

Cyber-attacks are nothing new for many colleges and universities.

“Universities actually get breached a lot,” said Rhoads-Herrera. “If they are research universities we see them get hit by nation-states quite a bit.”

However, Rhoads-Herrera believes hackers may have found a new target.

“We’re going to see a lot of attackers hit up schools in a way to disrupt services by causing chaos or outages,” said Rhoads-Herrera. “Others may go after them for data such as addresses or any type of sensitive information.”

“How prepared do you think we are as a nation for e-learning,” asked CBS 17’s Holden Kurwicki.

“I don’t think we’re very prepared,” said Rhoads-Herrera.

The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself by updating your computer’s security, strengthening your password, and using only verified WiFI devices.

“Whatever we deliver we have to make sure we’re at least doing our due diligence enough to say we’re securing our students’ data, our faculties data,” said Rhoads-Herrera. “When a breach does happen we need to be transparent about it and do everything in our power to follow up on it and prevent it from happening ever again.”

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