Two Long Island school districts were hacked this summer as part of a ransomware attack—prompting one school to pay $88,000 to get back the sensitive information. This attack is another in a series of recent ransomware attacks forcing schools and local governments to reevaluate their cyber security practices.

Scott Shackelford, an associate professor of business law and ethics at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, serves as cybersecurity program chair at IU and is director of the Ostrom Workshop Program on Cybersecurity and Internet Governance. He is also a senior fellow at IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, the academic director of the IU Cybersecurity Clinic and a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"The Long Island schools ransomware attack underscores a disturbing national trend: local governments, police departments, hospitals and schools are increasingly in the crosshairs of criminal organizations and even state-sponsored cyber attackers," said Shackelford.

"Some states, like Louisiana, have already declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of similar incidents," he added. "It's past time that we undertake a national effort to address this threat to our critical infrastructure. This could range from forming a National Cybersecurity Safety Board to even declaring a national emergency, which would free up additional funding and government support for these communities."

Shackelford is also an affiliated scholar at both the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society.

To speak with Shackelford, contact Nicole Wilkins, Indiana University, [email protected], 812-856-2119, or Kelsey Cook, Indiana University, [email protected], 317-274-5090.