Los Angeles Unified hit by ransomware attack

Los Angeles Unified hit by ransomware attack

Image: © AFP

Los Angeles Unified (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the US, attacked by ransomware that hit his IT systems over the weekend. LAUSD has 640,000 students and includes Los Angeles, 31 smaller municipalities, and the unincorporated sections of Los Angeles County.

To remedy the situation, LAUSD is currently working with the FBI and CISA to investigate and respond to the incident.

LAUSD said it “Immediately develop an action plan informed by technology and cybersecurity leaders from the public and private sectors to identify additional safeguards for the county and provide an independent opinion on system-wide safeguards.”

Incident investigation for digital magazine Josh Rickard, Senior Security Automation Architect at swimming path.

Ricard begins by describing the situation: “LAUSD, the second largest school district in the United States, was the victim of a devastating ransomware attack that disrupted its IT systems. With kids returning to school this week and school districts’ cybersecurity resources limited, school systems like LAUSD have unfortunately become easy targets for cybercriminals.”

This incident represents the latest development against the school system. In recent incidents affecting the education sector, ransomware has resulted in the loss of student coursework, school financial records, and COVID-19 testing data.

Here Rickard adds, “Ransomware attacks can wreak havoc on American school districts as many school systems lack adequate resources and funding for cybersecurity personnel.”

Regarding the specific incident, he notes, “While LAUSD is currently working with the FBI and CISA to investigate and respond to the incident, school districts can take steps to prevent an attack before it happens.”

There are measures educational institutions can take to make such attacks less likely. Ricard recommends, “To mitigate the impact of limited cybersecurity resources, school districts should use security automation to help detect and respond to these threats in real time.”

Ideally, every institution should have a strong security program, strong ransomware protection, and strong resilience measures. However, this is not always the case.

Ricard also recommends, “By applying low-code security automation, organizations can implement repeatable and robust response processes that increase the shortage of available staff.”

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