News

The old way of stopping cyber attacks is no longer working

By Jerish Papapurath
July 15th, 2015

Firewalls alone may not be enough to stop cyber attacks. For that, there’s data science

cyber-scienceRecently, KTVB evening news reported a denial-of-service (DoS) attack occurring on and off for over a week on Idaho’s largest school district Internet connection.

It’s yet another example of a school district IT department having to wade through piles of system logs to find that the potential root cause was a student who hired someone to perpetrate the attack. The news report closed with the disclaimer that, “these attacks didn’t breach the network, so no student information was accessed.”

The question is, when a network is breached, do school systems really have the tools they need to prevent data loss?

It’s about more than just grades. This is about personal health information (PHI), family health history, personally identifiable information (PII) and very likely financial data.

Public and private school districts are a treasure trove of information that cyber attackers can use to quickly target students’ families. Ask your local PTA how many people work in the IT department. Then ask how many have strong security expertise or a certification like CISSP.

Next page: How data science can help