The Park Hill School District was breached in an incident that calls attention to the vitality of endpoint threat detection and response measures for all enterprises, including those in the education sector.
School district breached
According to The Kansas City Star, the district has sent out an announcement to 10,000 people either currently or at one point affiliated with the school notifying them about a breach that may have compromised their personal information. Among the pool of those affected are current and former students and teachers. Despite the fact that a potential malicious incursion has been identified the school announced that possibly breached data has not been put to criminal use.
Superintendent Scott Springston told the Kansas City Star that he apologizes on behalf of the district and that they’ll be vigilant about correcting the problem.
“The district apologizes for any inconvenience that this may have caused those affected,” he said. “We are doing everything that we can do to assist those that are affected.”
One disgruntled worker caused breach
The need for organizations to have a comprehensive idea of who has access to privileged enterprise data is particularly well highlighted by this incident, since the entire breach is reported to have started with a one-time worker in the district uploading a hard drive containing the private information to a personal computing device, thereby rendering that data vulnerable, The Miami Herald reported. Had the district had better endpoint protection in place, it may not have been possible for the employee to upload data onto a computer outside the district network.
In a bit of news that’s becoming increasingly common to hear about attacked organizations, it turns out the district didn’t learn about the breach until months after it happened. This is not particularly surprising, since hackers these days employ such sophisticated and covert methods that they’re able to largely evade detection.
According to The Miami Herald, “The district is updating its policies on taking or downloading personnel data and student records and is providing free identity monitoring services to those affected by the breach.”
Despite these efforts at bounding back after the malicious episode, though, the district is sure to not look good considering the number of records that were potentially exposed. This little episode should be a reminder that cybercrime can hit any organization and that everyone needs to be prepared.