Albuquerque Public Schools renews contract with cyber protection service

Education

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As technology continues to get more advanced, cyber attacks are becoming more common, especially in New Mexico schools. Albuquerque Public Schools is now making sure they aren’t the next victim.

APS said they’re fighting off hackers every day, and on Monday, they made a big step to continue that fight. “It’s a wild world out there,” said Dr. Richard Bowman with APS.

Computers are part of our daily lives more than ever, and that includes students using them as a tool for their education. Now, threats from hackers trying to disrupt either the school day or steal information is a daily battle. Take for instance in October, ransomware shut down the Las Cruces Public School system.

In September, the Roswell School District’s computer systems were hacked, crippling everything from the internet to their grading system. That same month, the Rio Rancho Public Schools dealt with a cyber attack where a student tried to overload the network to make it crash.

“There’s attacks that come in over email, there’s attacks that come in directly into our servers, there’s attacks that use social engineering that try to get people to give up their usernames and passwords,” said Dr. Bowman.

So to prevent that from happening, APS asked the school board to renew a contract with Risk Sense, a company that catches hackers before they attack. “They provide a software platform for vulnerabilities scanning and penetration tests against our network,” said Gutierrez.

The service will help make sure the district’s systems don’t crash and help teachers’ and students’ information from getting into the wrong hands. “It is really important we protect things at all costs,” said Dr. Bowman.

APS School Board members voted in favor of renewing that cyber protection system with Risk Sense. The deal with Risk Sense is for three years and costs $300,000.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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