Is Your School’s Data Safe?

A Growing Threat in the Education System

Is Your School's Data Safe

Imagine a student’s Social Security number being exposed online. Or, a teacher’s entire career record vanishes during an audit. These data breaches are a harsh reality for schools today, and the consequences can be severe. As schools increasingly integrate technology into daily operations, the threat landscape expands, making cybersecurity a critical concern.

Are Schools Under Attack? The Numbers Speak for Themselves

  • Over 1,600 publicly disclosed cyberattacks on K-12 schools between 2016 and 2022 alone (source: U.S. Government Accountability Office report).
  • Financial losses for school districts can range from $50,000 to a staggering $1 million due to a single cyber incident.

How Are Hackers Targeting Schools?
Cybercriminals use various techniques to exploit vulnerabilities:

  • Phishing: Deceptive emails designed to steal login credentials.
  • Ransomware: Malicious software that encrypts data, demanding a ransom for decryption.
  • Email Compromise: Hackers gain access to email accounts to launch further attacks.
  • Stolen Credentials: Weak passwords or reused credentials can provide easy entry points.
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks: Overwhelming a network with traffic, making it inaccessible.

Real-World Examples: When Schools Became Victims

  • Chicago Public Schools (December 2021): A ransomware attack exposed the personal information of over 500,000 students and staff.
  • Winthrop Public Schools (MA, February 2021): A DDoS attack disrupted learning by disabling email, learning platforms, and video conferencing.
  • Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD, February 2023): A cyberattack compromised the personal information of at least 2,000 students, including Social Security numbers.

Beyond Grades: The Treasure Trove of Student Data
As if these numbers weren’t disturbing enough, there is a growing nationwide trend in which hackers are targeting young public school students. Schools collect a wealth of sensitive information beyond grades, making them attractive targets:

  • Birthdates
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Student ID Numbers
  • Addresses
  • Health Insurance Data

All of this sensitive data attracts hackers looking to exploit young individuals’ clean credit histories. Because parents don’t necessarily monitor their children’s credit reports, bad actors can easily leverage a child’s identity to open bank accounts, apply for loans, and rack up debt without anyone being the wiser.

Protecting Your School: Building a Cybersecurity Fortress
While the threats are real, there are solutions. Here’s how to safeguard your school’s data:

  • Implement Strong Security Measures: Encryption, firewalls, and user access controls are crucial.
  • Educate Staff and Students: Regular cybersecurity training helps everyone identify and avoid threats.
  • Stay Up-to-Date: Patch vulnerabilities and update software promptly.
  • Consider a Document Management System: Tools like DynaFile offer secure cloud storage, access control, and audit trails.

DynaFile: Your Partner in School Data Security
DynaFile is an education-focused document management system designed to keep your school’s data safe and secure. We offer:

  • Bank-grade encryption: Your data is protected even in the event of a physical breach.
  • Detailed user activity logs: Track who accessed what document, and when, for enhanced security and accountability.
  • Role-based access control: Ensure staff only see the documents they need, minimizing data leaks.
  • Seamless integrations: Connect DynaFile with existing HRIS, LMS, and Payroll systems for streamlined workflows.
  • Secure document sharing: Share specific document sections with expiration dates for ultimate control.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late: Secure Your School’s Future Today
Cyberattacks are a growing threat, but your school doesn’t have to be a victim. Schedule a demo with DynaFile to discover how we can help you safeguard sensitive data, ensure compliance, and empower a safer learning environment.