Killeen Isd Board Talks Cyber Security, Ransom | Education | Kdhnews.com – The Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen ISD board talks cyber security, ransom | Education | kdhnews.com – The Killeen Daily Herald

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Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 73F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph..
Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 73F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.
Updated: August 24, 2022 @ 4:40 pm
Killeen Independent School District school board. 

Metro Editor
Killeen Independent School District school board. 
This article was updated to include a correction regarding Tad Dorroh’s $15 million to $25 million estimate.
The Killeen Independent School District board of trustees recently discussed the need for cyber security insurance to include ransom coverage in case of an attack.
During the board’s Aug. 9 meeting, Killeen ISD Deputy Superintendent, and acting Chief Financial Officer, Megan Bradley provided the board with an overview of the district’s insurance premiums — including an annual increase of 163% in the cost of cyber security insurance.
Between last year and this school year, according to Bradley’s presentation, the district’s cyber security insurance premium went up by $301,000.
“I would probably pay twice that if asked because I am that scared of that (a cyber attack) happening,” board member Oliver Mintz said.
Superintendent John Craft told the board cyber attacks on school districts have become more frequent in recent years.
“You don’t have to look very far across the state, across the nation … school districts and universities, colleges have really become victims of cyber attacks,” Craft said.
“Usually what it entails is kind of a hostage taking of data and information,” he said. “It enables, in essence, the individual to usually barter some type of crypto currency as ransom. In most cases entities are, in some form or fashion, paying.”
In 2021, Judson ISD, outside of San Antonio, paid a $547,000 ransom to a hacker in order to prevent the public release of sensitive information. That same year, in Florida, a hacker demanded $40 million from the Broward County School District. In that case, the district refused to pay the ransom and the hackers publicly released thousands of stolen files.
As ransomware attacks become more common, Craft said the district may want to look at additional cyber security insurance.
“We’ve had the conversation that perhaps we start looking at, similar to health insurance, kind of a self-funded type program in the event that we did experience an attack,” Craft said. “It’d be in essence the protection that would safeguard us in the event we’re breached.”
The superintendent said the district is in the process of eliminating the use of external drives in a move toward a cloud-based storage system in an effort to increase KISD’s cyber security.
“This is an area of vulnerability that there is just a lot of risk,” he said.
Tad Dorroh, BKCW Insurance advisor, said during the board meeting he talked with the district about $15 million to $25 million for cyber security insurance.
Dorroh clarified in an email Tuesday that the cyber security discussion revolved around buying insurance to protect different layers of risk.
“These additional layers that we were discussing related to 15-25 million additional coverage levels in insurance policies,” Dorroh said Tuesday. “There are insurance products designed to protect different layers of coverage.”
During the meeting, board members Oliver Mintz and JoAnn Purser cautioned the district from publicly stating how much ransom money KISD may or may not have on hand in the future.
“I think Ms. Purser was right on the money; I think this may be a closed-door conversation,” Mintz said.
Craft said the issue of cyber security would be brought back for discussion at a future board meeting.
ldodd@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

Metro Editor
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