Schools across Long Island are boosting their cyber security efforts with safety concerns front and center at the start of the new year.
Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney says first and foremost everyone was horrified at the events in Uvalde, Texas.
“Our school safety seminar and program were the results from that,” says Tierney.
A first-of-its-kind program brought together the 69 school districts and law enforcement agencies throughout Suffolk.
“Let’s get everyone together, get everyone on the same page,” says Tierney. “Let’s develop protocols and let’s do everything we can beforehand to keep our kids safe.”
With safety a concern, cybersecurity is especially important as students and educators use technology more and more.
Adam Meyers, the head of intelligence at Crowdstrike, says cyber attackers know that schools can be easy targets.
Crowdstrike works with 125 schools on Long Island. He says schools have become prime targets for e-crime ransomwear attacks over the past few years.
Meyers says hikers can lock systems and encrypt files.
Experts say there are 45 e-crime ransomwear attacks per week nationwide. They say the average ransomwear is about $3.2 million.
“We have to make sure that we are ever vigilant in keeping our kids safe,” says Tierney.
Officials say make sure to use the latest software, use different passwords and usernames and add multifactor authentication.