3 Ways to Protect Your School From Ransomware

Ransomware is an ongoing threat targeting K-12 schools.  There are so many different types of ransomware that can be very damaging to schools if their networks become infected.

Crypto-based ransomware encrypts sensitive school data so that it can no longer be accessed.  Locker-based ransomware will lock up the entire computer deeming it unusable.  Wiperware makes every network computer completely unusable, even if the district pays the hacker.

Don’t leave your school vulnerable to dangerous ransomware threats.  School IT departments can take these 3 steps to better prepare for fighting ransomware:

1. Endpoint Protection
Ransomware is designed to target endpoints, which means that endpoint security is a crucial part of your schools cybersecurity efforts.  By purchasing an endpoint protection suite, a firewall will protect the school network from malware, spam and phishing.  Unified threat management solutions are another good addition to your school’s security plan.  They safeguard your school’s servers and when paired with an endpoint protection suite, are very effective at blocking ransomware threats.

2.  Regular System Updates
Vulnerability management is another essential step in protecting your district against ransomware.  It requires IT to focus on patch and configuration management.  Patch management requires schools to keep the endpoint’s operating system updated.  Schools also need to make sure that they have security configuration checklists for endpoint operating systems. 

3.  Application Whitelisting
Application whitelisting is your last line of defense against ransomware.  It will only allow an executable to run if the school district has specifically approved it.  This keeps schools protected, even if a user accidentally downloads ransomware.  However, whitelisting must be kept up to date in order to be effective.

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Story via EdTech