More information on HCS’s possible new cyber security program

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HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Houston County School Board members are considering buying an approximately $150,000 layered security system and yearly cyber security program.

“It’s comprehensive scanning and monitoring of our system,” said Bob Blalock, Houston County school technology director. “There is software that is loaded on the computer that helps with scanning the computers themselves.”

According to ControlAltProtect’s CEO, the firm proposing the new system, any device connected to the schools’ Wi-Fi would be protected.

“We certainly know what the hackers are trying to do and the tactics they are deploying,” said CEO Brent Panell..”This layered approach is a very comprehensive protection model to prevent what has already happened.”

But with the new system comes a hefty price tag: nearly $12,000 a month. However, Panell told board members his price is the best they’ll find.

“If you can find another data security firm with our credential capability in this country that will do what we have proposed at less than four dollars per work station, I will gladly step aside,” Panell said.

Even with that reassurance, board members are working to figure out how they would pay for the system.

“We have some state funds, but the wording is in such a way that we can’t use it for this product (because) a lot of funds are earmarked,” said David Sewell, Houston County Schools Superintendent.

According to reports, the hackers that breached the schools’ network are one of the most non-ethical, but reputable hacking groups ever. This most of the time, this particular group of hackers will give data back once they’ve been paid their ransom.

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