Houston County Schools delayed the opening of school for almost two weeks last summer because of a cyberattack on the system’s computer network. Rectifying the intrusion was an overwhelming undertaking; school officials originally thought they could straighten things out in a week, but later delayed the start of school for another week to allow time to address each of the more than 4,000 computers affected and work to restore data that was lost.
It should be a cautionary tale for other school systems or any entity that relies on a network of computers for day-to-day operations.
Meanwhile, the breach meant the school system would need to spend money on computer upgrades, and that unexpected expense could cripple a budget.
The system is fortunate in that it had received a state allotment of Advancement in Technology funds that would allow for the replacement of computers for all teachers, and the purchase of Chromebook computers for the computer labs of every school except one school, Webb Elementary, which chose to direct its portion of the funds to another program.
School officials deserve commendation for applying the funds to not only provide current technology for students, but replace vulnerable hardware used by teachers.