Virtual learning. As students and employees continue to learn and work remotely, the same cybersecurity standards used by businesses should also be applied to their personal virtual settings. (Photo: Hananeko_Studio/Shutterstock)

Students in jurisdictions across the country have been learning online since March, and during that time, multiple school systems have had their networks hacked and been the victims of denial of service attacks, preventing access to online resources. The Fairfax County school system in Virginia was hacked in September, and Clark County in Nevada had a cyber incident earlier during the pandemic.

Just before Thanksgiving, Maryland’s Baltimore County School system network experienced a cyberattack, prompting administrators to send text messages to teachers, warning them not to log onto the network. Schools were closed for three days, and an investigation to determine the scope of the infiltration is still underway. While county school officials believe that personally identifiable information (PII) for students and teachers was not compromised, it will be some time before that can be confirmed.

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]

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