Beware Unwelcome Guests

Mismanaged data security is like sharing your computer with a criminal.

We’re going to guess that, if you knew there was an ongoing burglary spree in your neighborhood, you would take precautions such as locking your doors and windows to discourage bad guys from robbing your home. Surely you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, run an errand, and feel protected.

Using computer equipment that has outdated software, missing patches, or misconfigured settings is akin to leaving your door wide open and inviting the bad guys inside. In the electronic world, if you’ve left your system unprotected, those bad guys have access around the clock—when you’re working and when you’re at home—and they’re probably doing it under a cloak of invisibility. Worse yet, it’s probably not just a local group of thugs but also criminals with unlimited access from around the globe.

We recently attended a cyber security seminar at which an FBI agent proclaimed that 99% of educational institutions in the United States received a failing grade—a big fat F—on security. Supporting this claim, an analysis published in December 2018 by SecurityScorecard ranked education as the worst out of 17 major industries regarding cybersecurity.

Many school professionals don’t believe that they will be attacked; however, studies show that schools are being targeted more and more, and the FBI has issued multiple alerts on the matter. Cyber security is not to be taken lightly. The bad guys are lurking, and your doors and Windows are wide open.

Meal Magic Corporation takes data privacy and security very seriously. Our systems undergo security scans, virus scans, patching, and configuration fine-tuning regularly to help protect not only our corporate information but also customer data that has been entrusted to us. Educating ourselves and working with legal teams, insurance agents, data center representatives, and other security experts is an ongoing process that never ends as long as we have systems online.

For nearly everyone, experiencing a data incident firsthand is not so much a matter of if but more a matter of when. What is your district doing to protect its systems? Don’t be fooled that a firewall is keeping your network secure. We heard that one recently, but a simple scan revealed that the tech was quite wrong in feeling safe. The server and all its data was open to the world, and he didn’t even realize it.

There’s no sure-fire way to protect your data; but there are ways to make it much more difficult for unwelcome guests to have free access. It’s time for you to take data privacy and security as seriously as we do.