Local school systems taking steps to protect schools from cyber attacks
BATON ROUGE - Several school districts across Louisiana are taking precautions after cyber attacks against multiple school systems were detected last week.
Due to the attacks, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an emergency declaration.
“The state was made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems and we have been coordinating a response ever since,” Gov. Edwards said. “This is exactly why we established the Cyber Security Commission, focused on preparing for, responding to and preventing cybersecurity attacks, and we are well-positioned to assist local governments as they battle this current threat.”
Sunday night, a potential cybersecurity issued was discovered on Tangipahoa Parish School System computer servers. As a precautionary measure, the school system shut down the IP phone connections at all of their offices, including schools.
The first phase of the state's emergency cyber incident prevention plan is to turn off all Internet access to all locations.
Click here for the full list of tips in the prevention plan.
The Ascension Parish School System following the state's recommendations "in an overabundance of caution." Officials say they will "continue to communicate with staff as teachers return to make sure that everyone understands the severity and their roles in preventing an event in Ascension."
East Baton Rouge
The East Baton Rouge School System released the following statement:
"We will continue to let the state be a voice for this topic to avoid becoming a target of a cyber breach. Safety measures are being taken to protect our students and staff information. We are on high alert and are taking steps to educate employees about phishing schemes."
Tuesday evening, the Iberville Parish School District shut down the district's network to implement updates. During that time, no telephones or Internet services were available. The district is not experiencing any threats to its system.
As a precaution, the Livingston Parish School System took the entire system down. The whole process is expected to be completed Wednesday. The school system also did the steps mandated by the state.
Pointe Coupee Parish
On Tuesday, the Pointe Coupee Parish School District took the "necessary precautions by implementing a six-phase prevention plan as recommended by the state."
West Baton Rouge
To be proactive, officials shut down the entire district network to implement mandated updates from the LaDOE. No threat was detected.