Schools and Local Governments Face Heightened Cyber Risks

Dependence on distance learning has opened up new opportunities for cyber criminals. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that at least two Bay Area school districts have suffered cybersecurity breaches since they switched their education to an all-online system. In one case, an unknown male was able to gain access to the system and expose himself to students online. That happened in Berkeley, California.

In Oakland, the district suffered a more widespread breach of student privacy after administrators inadvertently publicly posted hundreds of access codes and passwords used by teachers and students to log into online classrooms and video conferences.

The codes allowed anyone with a Gmail account to join the Google Classroom sites set up by teachers across the district, allowing access to students’ full names as well as their comments posted in the class. The documents also included the time, access codes and passwords for Zoom video conferences with teachers and students.

School districts are not the only ones experiencing heightened cybersecurity threats. As CaliforniaCityNews reported last week, a virtual Laguna Beach City Council meeting was recently “bombed” with porn.

Reliance on distance learning and communication isn’t going away anytime soon. And coronavirus isn’t the only invasive threat we have to worry about. Experts say it’s more important than ever that municipalities, school districts, and agencies get serious about protecting their online systems. That means bringing in consultants and shoring up security protocols to keep their data safe.