Lincoln College in Illinois has announced that it will be closing its doors this week, following a ransomware attack that took months to resolve.
— Christopher Chance
TAMPA, FL, USA, May 12, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Lincoln College in Illinois has announced that it will be closing its doors this week, following a ransomware attack that took months to resolve. The impact of COVID-19 has been severe for many colleges and universities, but Lincoln College seems to have been particularly hard hit. The attack caused extensive damage to the college’s computer system, and the recovery process was slow and costly.
In the end, the college was unable to recover from the financial losses incurred as a result of the attack, and it is now facing closure.
“This is a tragic outcome for an institution with a long history of serving students in need. It is also a stark reminder of the dangers of ransomware attacks for all organizations, large and small,” says Christopher Chance with DataEcon in Dallas (https://www.dataecon.com/it-consulting-dallas/)
Closing Their Doors For Good
The college has informed the Illinois Department of Higher Education and Higher Learning Commission that it will permanently close as of May 13th.
As NBC News (https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/ransomware-attack-covid-combine-shutter-illinois-college-rcna24905) notes, it’s the first US college or university to shut down in part because of a ransomware attack. The college was hit with a ransomware attack on April 29th, and the attackers demanded a $2 million ransom.
The college did not pay the ransom, and the attackers released some of the stolen data. The college decided to shut down after determining that it would not be able to recover from the attack.
“This is a significant development, as colleges and universities have increasingly become targets for cybercriminals.” shares Holden Watne, an IT service provider in Long Beach, CA (https://www.generationix.com/it-services-long-beach/)
In 2016, a ransomware attack on the University of Calgary resulted in the school paying a $20,000 ransom. And in 2017, a cyber attack on Equifax exposed the personal data of more than 145 million people. As these incidents show, ransomware attacks can have a devastating impact on organizations.
“While the motives of the attackers are not yet known, it’s clear that colleges and universities must do more to protect themselves from these types of attacks.” states cybersecurity expert, Sean Connery with Orbis Solutions in Las Vegas (https://www.orbissolutionsinc.com/cybersecurity-las-vegas/)
Last December, Lincoln College was hit by a cyberattack that hindered access to all institutional data and created an unclear picture of fall 2022 enrollment.
Fortunately, no personal identifying information was exposed. Once fully restored in March 2022, the projections displayed significant enrollment shortfalls, requiring a transformational donation or partnership to sustain Lincoln College beyond the current semester.
Ransomware Claims Another Victim
Lincoln College has announced that it will be closing its doors at the end of the semester, citing the financial strain of the pandemic and a recent cyberattack.
Founded in 1863, Lincoln has been a fixture of higher education in Illinois for over 150 years. The college has seen many changes during its long history, but the ongoing pandemic has proven to be too much for the institution.
“The closure of Lincoln College is a tragedy for its students, faculty, and staff. But it is also a sign of the times: even longstanding institutions are not immune to the challenges of the present moment.” shares Ashu Singhal, a cybersecurity expert with Orion Networks in Bethesda, MD (https://www.orionnetworks.net/it-services-in-bethesda-md/)
Ransomware Attacks On The Rise
Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and no sector is immune. In the last year alone, we’ve seen major attacks on hospitals, game studios, and even educational facilities.
The problem is only getting worse, as hackers become more sophisticated and more willing to target any organization that they think will be vulnerable. The best way to protect yourself from a ransomware attack is to be prepared.
Make sure you have a strong backup system in place so that you can recover your data if you are attacked. And keep your software up to date, as new security vulnerabilities are discovered all the time. If you’re not prepared for a ransomware attack, you could be putting your entire organization at risk.
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