• Hannah E. Jahn

BREAKING NEWS: Ransomware Attack at Hartford Public Schools

BREAKING NEWS. On Tuesday, September 8th, Hartford Public schools were compromised by a widespread ransomware attack, forcing the officials to cancel Hartford Public Schools' first day of school.


Not only did the cybersecurity attack cause an outage of critical systems, but the schools were forced to postpone the first day back, affecting their 4,000+ students attending both in-person and online.


The F.B.I. was notified and is currently investigating the whole incident.


A Scary, Far-Reaching Impact

According to Eyewitness News Channel 3, more than 200 of the city of Hartford’s 300 computer servers were affected by this compromise.


The attack compromised the school transportation system used for the communication of bus routes, and even the computer servers used by the Hartford police department and 911 dispatchers.


In all of the news reports, school officials have stated that no known student or employee personal data was accessed or stolen in this incident.


Costly System Down-Time

Many of the servers and technology systems needed to be restored and rebooted, a process that took a considerable amount of time. The critical systems were restored within seven hours, but that was enough system down-time to cause a serious headache for all of the school officials involved.


Limited Damage due to Cybersecurity Upgrades

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin told The Hartford Courant that a recent investment of about $500,000 in new cybersecurity software last year “significantly limited” the damage of the virus, which identified itself as a ransomware attack but did not include a specific demand. Instead, it directed its target to use an email address to get more information on the ransom.


He added he believed that the cybersecurity investment helped the city successfully respond to this ransomware attack.


Ransomware: A Growing Threat in Connecticut

According to The New York Times, “ransomware attacks, in which hackers shut down entire computer networks and demand payments to restore access, have been a growing problem for municipalities and businesses across the United States in recent years.”


Just last year, a number of locations in Connecticut fell victim to cybersecurity attacks, including the school district in Wolcott, Connecticut. Their district was compromised twice in four months, urging the statewide school boards to increase their cybersecurity protections.


Lessons to Learn for Businesses

As a small business, what insights can you glean from this new cyber attack? It is not always possible to stop ransomware, but having the proper data backup and restoration measures in place will keep attacks from becoming major disasters.


Because Hartford’s municipalities had invested in quality cybersecurity upgrades and solutions, as well as maintained quality data backups, their system down-time was not nearly as terrible as it could have been.


And this is just the beginning… Small businesses are well-known, easier targets with less risk involved for hackers and cybercriminals.


Unfortunately, we have only seen more and more of our Connecticut and Massachusetts clients run into cybersecurity attacks similar to this one at the Hartford schools. Without the correct cybersecurity protections in place, many of these businesses become like deer in the headlights.


Secure Your Own Business

If you are not certain that your business would be able to handle an attack like this one, please contact us for a FREE IT Consultation or Assessment.


Our certified, professional cybersecurity analysts will inspect and explain glaring cybersecurity issues, as well as provide solutions for securing your computers, network, servers, email, data backups, and more.


Feel free to email us at info@encompassit.com or give us a call at (860) 785-6233. We’re located on 52 Main Street, Manchester, CT 06042.



Read what our clients are saying about us: https://www.encompassit.com/testimonials



Encompass IT Solutions | Manchester, CT | (860) 785-6233

Encompass IT Solutions provides Cyber Security & Managed IT Services for small businesses throughout all of Connecticut & Massachusetts. With over 30 years of experience, our expert team of certified computer technicians and analysts are equipped to provide exceptional IT consulting. Offering impressive "Guaranteed 1-Hour or Less" emergency response times, a wide selection of computer services, cybersecurity solutions, VoIP cloud phones, remote technical support, and onsite technical support. We protect and maintain computer systems and networks, so that you can concentrate on what you do best. Eliminate your computer issues and IT problems. Call us at (860) 785-6233. Get a FREE IT Consultation today by emailing us at info@encompassit.com.

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