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U.S. School Cyber Attacks Are On the Rise. It’s Time to Fight Back.

school cyber attacks portnox

In recent years, U.S. school districts have increasingly become targets for cyber attacks. These school cyber attacks have ranged from ransomware attacks to data breaches, resulting in a significant loss of data and resources for school districts. The reasons for this are varied, but a common issue is the lack of proper network access controls in place. In this article, we’ll explore why school districts are easy targets for hackers and how implementing network access control can help prevent future attacks.

Why Are U.S. School Cyber Attacks On the Rise?

First and foremost, school districts are an easy target for cybercriminals because they often lack the necessary security measures to protect their networks. Unlike larger organizations that have dedicated IT teams and resources to implement security measures, many school districts have limited budgets and staff resources that can be dedicated to cybersecurity. This makes them vulnerable to attacks that exploit weaknesses in their network security, such as unsecured Wi-Fi networks or outdated software and hardware.

One example of such a cyber attack occurred in 2019, when the Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland suffered a ransomware attack that disrupted its operations for several days. The attack impacted the district’s communication systems, preventing staff from accessing emails and important files. Similarly, in March 2021, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida was hit with a ransomware attack that disrupted online learning for several days.

Another reason why school districts are easy targets is the large amount of sensitive data they store, including student and staff personal information, financial data, and academic records. This makes them attractive targets for hackers looking to steal data for financial gain or to sell on the dark web. In 2020, the Clark County School District in Nevada suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 350,000 students and staff members.

Stopping School Cyber Attacks with NAC

So, how can school cyber attacks be stopped? One solution is to implement network access control (NAC) measures. NAC is a security solution that ensures only authorized users and devices can access a network, while blocking unauthorized users and devices from gaining access.

With NAC, school districts can implement policies that require users and devices to meet specific security requirements before they are granted access to the network. This includes verifying the identity of users, ensuring that devices have the necessary security software and patches installed, and checking for any signs of malware or other security threats.

By implementing NAC, a significant reduction of school cyber attacks can be achieved. This was demonstrated in 2020 when the Newhall School District in California implemented NAC and was able to prevent an attempted ransomware attack. The NAC solution detected the unauthorized access attempt and prevented the malware from spreading throughout the network.

In conclusion, school districts are easy targets for cyber attacks due to their limited resources and vulnerabilities in their network security. However, by implementing network access control measures, school districts can significantly reduce their risk of cyber attacks and protect the sensitive data they store. With the rise of online learning and remote work, it’s more important than ever for school districts to prioritize cybersecurity and take proactive steps to secure their networks.

About Version 2
Version 2 is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.

About Portnox
Portnox provides simple-to-deploy, operate and maintain network access control, security and visibility solutions. Portnox software can be deployed on-premises, as a cloud-delivered service, or in hybrid mode. It is agentless and vendor-agnostic, allowing organizations to maximize their existing network and cybersecurity investments. Hundreds of enterprises around the world rely on Portnox for network visibility, cybersecurity policy enforcement and regulatory compliance. The company has been recognized for its innovations by Info Security Products Guide, Cyber Security Excellence Awards, IoT Innovator Awards, Computing Security Awards, Best of Interop ITX and Cyber Defense Magazine. Portnox has offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. For information visit http://www.portnox.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.。

Gas transport company switches from Citrix resulting in an 80% reduction of their infrastructure footprint

SPEED OF IMPLEMENTATION
EASE OF USE
COST SAVINGS
“Awingu just worked and that’s what we needed. A simple, straightforward application that accelerated our ability to achieve our goals.”
davidderoock2
David De Roock
IT Director, Exmar NV

🔶 CHALLENGE: Provide employees and external contractors seamless access to business assets quickly and efficiently without continuously needing to maintain the environment. 

❓ TEST: Will Awingu be easier to maintain while offering a stable user experience? 

⭕ SOLUTION: Awingu enabled the bulk of Exmar NV’s workloads to shift from twenty-five to five remote desktop machines by assigning more resources to them than their Citrix solution could handle. 

✅ RESULT: Moving away from Citrix was critical to realizing significant cost savings and improved user experience for both IT teams and end users.

 

Exmar NV is an energy supply chain provider with 2500 employees offering tailor-made energy solutions to the gas industry. The mission is to serve their customers with innovations in the fields of offshore extraction, transformation, production, storage, and transportation by sea of liquefied natural gases, petrochemical gases, and liquid hydrocarbons. 

Prior to 2019, Exmar was utilizing the Citrix solution in tandem with VPN for their employees to access business files and applications. This was a sufficient solution for the most part, but it was complex and costly. Also, accessing large files was problematic. The load was heavy and extra traffic added an additional challenge, especially when traveling end users went to remote locations in Asia, Africa, or vessels out to sea. 

THE CHALLENGE: Provide employees and external contractors seamless access to corporate files quickly and efficiently without the need to constantly maintain the environment. 

Exmar was looking for: 

  • Simple workspace management 
  • Seamless implementation 
  • Uninterrupted access to business files and applications 
      

The arrival of COVID in 2019/2020 resulted in a shrinking IT team at Exmar. This made maintaining the elaborate Citrix environment increasingly difficult. After a 2.5 year struggle, David De Roock, IT Director with Exmar, went back to the drawing board for alternate solutions.

“Citrix was too complex with a lot of virtual servers, layering storage issues etc. I lost count how many times team members would mention in meetings that ‘Citrix isn’t working again’. This was disruptive to our day-to-day business and we couldn’t continue this way”, David De Roock (IT Director, Exmar NV) says.

THE TEST: Will Awingu be easier to maintain while offering a seamless user experience?

David was impressed that within 2 days of his conversation with Awingu, the pilot was off the ground. 

The following week, David’s team conducted extensive testing with both external and internal users. 

Positive user feedback included:  

  • The testing process was easy and straight forward.
  • Accessing resources through a web browser—without the need to install anything—was an immense benefit.
  • Speed was impressive; the startup time of applications was drastically reduced since no plugins were required. 
  • The support efforts needed from their desktop team were reduced since a modern HTML 5 browser is the only requirement.
  • A much better user experience – the server didn’t crash and browser updates didn’t interfere with plugins.
  • Users can use any device so laptop distribution was eliminated.

 

“The overall sentiment of those involved in the pilot was that Awingu was simple. The time previously used to maintain the Citrix environment shifted to focus on how we can improve our processes and environment to positively affect our customers’ bottom line”, David mentions.

This was enough for David to decide to make the move from Citrix to Awingu.

THE SOLUTION: Awingu enabled Exmar to shift the bulk of their load to five remote desktop machines, assigning them more resources than the Citrix solution could handle.

David was pleased to see that the number of virtual machines reduced drastically from twenty-five to five.  

Plus, the need for Exmar-provided laptops was eliminated for external agencies. Not only was this advantageous for their budget but it also enhanced security as there is always elevated risk when you have laptops traveling to every corner of the globe. 

The simplicity of Awingu is what made the biggest impact. The learning curve was minimal, and it only took two weeks to decide that a full roll out was the best choice for their business. 

The personal attention of Awingu’s Support team was another deciding factor. A couple of minor issues popped up over the weekend and the Awingu Support team was available and willing to help. By Monday, issues were solved, and it was business as usual without any interruption for the end user. 

David explained that “Awingu is very straightforward and easy to roll out. This was the driver to make the move from Citrix to Awingu. 

THE RESULT: Moving away from Citrix was critical for Exmar to realize significant cost savings and ease of use for both IT teams and end users.

Moving to Awingu was the solution Exmar needed to strengthen their budget and reassign resources where they were needed. 

In summary, the main benefits they experienced were: 

  1. Reduction of infrastructure footprint: What once required twenty-five virtual machines now only requires five. A reduction of 80%.
  2. Zero complexity: The learning curve was minimal thanks to the easy-to-use and secure unified workspace. Their pilot was rolled out in two days. Full deployment and testing with 100 users spanned an additional 2 weeks.
  3. Cost savings: Licensing costs were reduced by 66% annually.

 

“The overall picture? The Awingu experience is a lot better, simpler, and easier to maintain. We haven’t looked back and an expansion of the solution is in the works”, David concludes.

About Version 2
Version 2 is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.

About Awingu
Awingu produces a browser-based Unified Workspace solution. It allows users to work and collaborate from virtually anywhere using any device compatible with HTML5 browsers. As a turnkey solution, Awingu offers businesses the ease and convenience of platform-independent mobility and offers everything you need to stay productive: legacy and cloud applications, documents and data. Awingu requires zero configuration and zero client software installation, making IT administration extremely simple.

SafeDNS Wins the Spring 2023 Top Performer Award

We are thrilled to announce that SafeDNS has won the Top Performer award in Cloud Cybersecurity Software category from SourceForge, the world’s largest software reviews and comparison website.This award recognizes exceptional companies and products with a significant amount of recent favorable user reviews that puts them in the top tenth percentile of highly reviewed products on SourceForge.

At SafeDNS, we are committed to providing our customers with the best web filtering solutions that keep them and their businesses safe online. Our cloud-based platform offers comprehensive protection against malicious websites, phishing, and other online threats, while also allowing users to customize their browsing experience based on their unique needs. 

Great support and very effective system. Easy to setup for a multi-site company with many simple to use features and good written support materials. [Leonides Daniel C.]

We would like to thank all of our customers who took the time to share their positive experiences with SafeDNS on SourceForge. Your feedback and support are what drive us to continuously improve our products and services.

About Version 2
Version 2 is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.

About SafeDNS
SafeDNS breathes to make the internet safer for people all over the world with solutions ranging from AI & ML-powered web filtering, cybersecurity to threat intelligence. Moreover, we strive to create the next generation of safer and more affordable web filtering products. Endlessly working to improve our users’ online protection, SafeDNS has also launched an innovative system powered by continuous machine learning and user behavior analytics to detect botnets and malicious websites.

RSA 會議 2023:人工智能慧如何滲透全球

 

RSA 會議是全球資訊安全領域的一個重要活動,每年都吸引了眾多安全專家和業界人士參加。今年,RSA 會議將討論一個十分熱門的話題:人工智能(AI)如何滲透全球。 

AI 已經成為現代科技中的一個關鍵詞,它可以幫助我們完成許多複雜的任務,例如圖像識別、語音識別、自然語言處理、自動化決策等。但同時,AI 也帶來了許多挑戰,特別是在資訊安全領域。

首先,AI 可能被用於攻擊。黑客可以利用 AI 技術來創造出更加智能化、有效的攻擊手段。例如,他們可以使用機器學習算法來進行釣魚攻擊,或者使用生成對抗網路(GAN)來創造出高度逼真的假新聞和假影像。這樣一來,攻擊者可以更加容易地欺騙受害者,導致更多的損失。其次,AI 還可能被用於加強防禦。安全專家可以使用 AI 來分析大量的資訊,從中識別出潛在的威脅和漏洞。他們還可以使用 AI 來創造出更加強大的安全系統,例如自動化防禦系統和入侵偵測系統。這樣一來,企業和組織就可以更加迅速地應對安全威脅,減少損失。

此外,AI 還可以用於改進身份驗證系統。現在,大部分的身份驗證系統都是基於密碼和用戶名來進行驗證的,但這種方式很容易被黑客破解。AI 可以提供更加安全的身份驗證方式,例如基於生物特徵的驗證,例如指紋識別、臉部識別和聲音識別。這樣一來,我們就可以更加確保用戶的安全,防止未經授權的訪問和信息泄漏。

總的來說,AI 的滲透將為資訊安全領域帶來許多新的挑戰和機會。在面對這些挑戰時,我們需要保持警惕,並採取相應的防禦措施。同時,我們還應該充分利用 AI 的優勢,創造出更加智能化、高效的安全系統。在 RSA 會議上,眾多安全專家和業界人士將分享他們的經驗和見解,討論 AI 如何影響資訊安全領域以及未來的發展趨勢。我們相信,在 AI 的幫助下,我們可以創造出更加安全、更加智能化的世界。

在這個充滿挑戰和機遇的時代,我們需要保持開放的心態,不斷學習和探索,才能跟上時代的步伐,應對未來的挑戰。讓我們一起期待 RSA 會議 2023 的精彩演講和討論,為資訊安全領域的發展做出更多的貢獻。

關於Version 2
Version 2 是亞洲最有活力的IT公司之一,公司發展及代理各種不同的互聯網、資訊科技、多媒體產品,其中包括通訊系統、安全、網絡、多媒體及消費市場產品。透過公司龐大的網絡、銷售點、分銷商及合作夥伴,Version 2 提供廣被市場讚賞的產品及服務。Version 2 的銷售網絡包括中國大陸、香港、澳門、臺灣、新加坡等地區,客戶來自各行各業,包括全球1000大跨國企業、上市公司、公用機構、政府部門、無數成功的中小企及來自亞洲各城市的消費市場客戶。

關於ESET
ESET成立於1992年,是一家面向企業與個人用戶的全球性的電腦安全軟件提供商,其獲獎產品 — NOD32防病毒軟件系統,能夠針對各種已知或未知病毒、間諜軟件 (spyware)、rootkits和其他惡意軟件為電腦系統提供實時保護。ESET NOD32佔用 系統資源最少,偵測速度最快,可以提供最有效的保護,並且比其他任何防病毒產品獲得了更多的Virus Bulletin 100獎項。ESET連續五年被評為“德勤高科技快速成長500 強”(Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500)公司,擁有廣泛的合作夥伴網絡,包括佳能、戴爾、微軟等國際知名公司,在布拉迪斯拉發(斯洛伐克)、布裏斯托爾(英國 )、布宜諾斯艾利斯(阿根廷)、布拉格(捷克)、聖地亞哥(美國)等地均設有辦事處,代理機構覆蓋全球超過100個國家。

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