How local schools are preventing cyberattacks

Posted at 6:30 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 12:38:23-05

Many students are learning virtually, and two school districts are explaining what they are doing to keep their students safe while online.

The FBI recently reported that cyberattacks have seen an uptick over the past few months, and cyberattacks against schools in particular have risen about 30%. School districts have become easy targets since the start of the pandemic as more students are learning remotely.

That's why Cincinnati Public Schools and Newport Independent Schools have stepped their cybersecurity up. Both school districts said they use Google Meet, and Newport Independent Schools said they use Microsoft Teams.

"If you don't have a username from inside our organization, you can't join the meeting unless the meeting organizer specifically lets you in," Rusty Adams, director of technology for Newport Independent Schools, said.

The layers of security are what the information technology specialists from both school districts said help keep cyberattacks at bay.

"There's always a chance something can get through, so the second layer relies on monitoring so that we can see what students or those malicious actors may do if they do happen to get through," Jeremy Gollihue, chief information officer for CPS, said.

Neither school district has reported a cyberattack since the start of the pandemic. However, a few students have been disruptive with attempted Zoombombings, but those students are easily identifiable, according to officials.