New Brunswick Public Schools to Test Its Cybersecurity

Credits: Yuri Samoilov/Flickr

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — These days, just about any individual—and institution—is at risk of falling prey to a cyberattack.

New Brunswick’s public school district is no different.

That’s why the city Board of Education approved a resolution at its meeting in late June to spur an assessment of its network and cybersecurity defense mechanisms. The contract with Presidio Networked Solutions Group will cost $14,910, according to the district.

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Business Administrator Richard Jannarone said he and his technology team lobbied for the third-party analysis due, in part, to attempted attacks in the past.

“We get folks that try to attack our network at many different times, and we want to make sure that we’re fully prepared,” Jannarone said. “You see all the cybersecurity out there in the world, and we want to make sure that no one can hack into our network.”

The district received three proposals for the tech assessment, he said.

Presidio, the chosen vendor, describes itself as a “leading IT solutions provider” and does work for various governments and private clients, according to its website. The company tests a given entity’s vulnerability to cyberattacks by using security tools, controls testing, governance review and architecture evaluation “in a way that is second to none,” Presidio has said.

Presidio will gauge the security of New Brunswick Public Schools’ networks and, if necessary, offer advice on how to strengthen cybersecurity in the district, Jannarone said.

“We normally review procedures and regulations,” he added, “and the technology team and myself—we felt it was a good idea.”

In recent months, hackers have hit online networks belonging to companies, institutions and individuals across the world, often holding information hostage in the hopes of receiving a ransom. The New Jersey pharmaceutical heavyweight Merck, for instance, was hit in a global attack last month.

A Rutgers University student was recently identified as Exfocus, the individual who took down the school’s network several times last year, according to reports.

Various municipalities, including Newark, and school districts throughout the state have also fallen victim to keyboard warriors and their scams and schemes.

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