Phishing attacks can cause a lot of damage, so we try to not make light of them. But every now and then you have to look on the bright side.

There was news last week that “Several thousand school children in Alabama had their summer vacation extended by two weeks as the Houston County School District was forced for the second time to delay opening day due to a cyberattack.”

Finally, a phishing attack that makes somebody happy. The children probably don’t even know what a phishing attack is, but I’m certain they like it.

“The district has not said exactly what type of malware is involved, other than to note that no ransom has been paid and that all the district’s 4,000 computers need to be reconfigured, a process expected to take three more weeks.” Somewhere, somebody clicked on a link they shouldn’t have.

Of course, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Just last month, in Louisiana, the governor declared a state of emergency when three school districts were hit with a cyberattack simultaneously.

“Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the declaration in response to cyber incidents that took place over the last few weeks at Sabine, Morehouse, and Ouachita parishes in North Louisiana. None of the three districts named had posted any information regarding cyberattacks.” Somewhere, somebody clicked on a link they shouldn’t have.

First it was municipalities, now it’s school districts. What will it take for these organizations to invest in phishing protection technology? Technology that protects against ransomware, blocks malicious websites and defends against spear phishing attacks. In other words, the exact problems these organizations are experiencing.

It’s not like phishing protection technology is expensive either. It costs $45/month. And it’s not like it takes a lot to install. Cloud-based phishing protection technology can be deployed in about 10 minutes, without any impact to the existing email delivery system.

It’s time for school districts to protect themselves from these inevitable phishing attacks, no matter how much the students complain.

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