Technology Tips: January 2022 Edition (A Year in Tech) Technology Tips: January 2022 Edition (A Year in Tech)

Technology Tips: January 2022 Edition (A Year in Tech)

by Skyward IT Services
Skyward IT Services Skyward IT Services Network and Infrastructure Security Specialists
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The more frustrating the situation, the bigger the lesson learned. Today we are discussing four of the most costly and problematic tech stories of 2021 and, most importantly, steps you can take to keep you and your district as safe as possible.


Meta Outage

The story: This past October, Meta (formerly Facebook) faced a six-hour worldwide outage affecting Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This outage cost Meta tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue. The issues were not caused by hackers. Rather, it was due to a faulty configuration change on their routers.

Lesson learned: While online social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be helpful for sharing information with students and families, it’s important to have trustworthy backups in place. For example, you may consider sharing information via a blog, email newsletter, or even your student information system.

Here are 11 ways to reach out to families that aren’t through social media.


LinkedIn Data-Scraping

The story: In April 2021, 500 million LinkedIn members were affected by a data-scraping incident. A few months later, in June, 700 million LinkedIn records were for sale on a cyberattack website. While LinkedIn said its networks hadn’t been breached, the security ramifications enabled a list of problems. Phishing attempts, brute-force cracking of passwords, scams via telephone and email, as well as identity theft were just some of the issues.

Lesson learned: Check the security settings on your social media profiles to make sure that all information is private, including your email address. Don’t use the same passwords for multiple sites and accounts, no matter how tempting it may be. For example, if your LinkedIn password is the same as your banking or credit card password, a data breaches could be very costly for you. If it’s difficult for you to keep track of your passwords, consider using a password manager or passphrase.


JBS Foods Hacking

The story: In May 2021, REvil, a Russian hacker group, hacked American meat processing company JBS Foods. The hack occurred during a time in the United States when meat prices were already increasing and product shortages were causing issues across the globe.

Lesson learned: The hackers requested $11 million in bitcoin—one of the largest ransomware payments of all time. After consulting with IT professionals and cybersecurity experts, JBS Foods paid it to avoid potential damage to the food supply chain. Though hopefully your district will never face a situation like this one, it’s best to be prepared by ensuring you have a team of experts at the ready, people you trust will give you sound advice should a situation like this one occur.


Ransomware of the Year: Colonial Pipeline Data Breach

In April, the Russian-based DarkSide hacker group caused a serious disruption in the Colonial Pipeline, wreaking havoc on the gasoline supply chain. This attack caused many Americans to panic (some carrying gasoline in bins and plastic bags). Colonial Pipeline paid the $4.4 million ransom to prevent further disruption, but fortunately, they were able to recover $2.3 million of it.

With cyberattacks on the rise, it’s more important than ever that your district take preventative measures to keep your data safe.


 


Skyward IT Services Skyward IT Services Network and Infrastructure Security Specialists


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