NOTTINGHAM, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams on Wednesday issued an update on the ransomware attack that plagued the school system back in November.
In the statement, Dr. Williams states that “there is no evidence that any data was accessed or stolen.”
The full statement from Dr. Williams is below:
“Dear BCPS Community,
As we head into the 2021 school year, I wanted to provide an update on the ransomware attack we sustained in November. I’m pleased to inform you that the third-party experts with whom we’ve been working have confirmed that there is no evidence that any data was accessed or stolen.
While we have shared that information before, the fact that trusted outside investigators who do this work full-time have come to that same conclusion should give us all added comfort.
In terms of our restoration efforts, while there is still work to be done, I have more good news to share. We were able to gain access to our first quarter grades from Schoology – which means that report cards will be issued on time and transcripts can be generated for college applicants and transfer candidates as usual. I know that, for many parents and students in our community, this has been a real concern – but rest assured that if your child is applying to college, transferring schools, or just otherwise advancing their education, we will be able to support and serve you just as we were prior to this attack. I’m hopeful this news can make 2021 at least somewhat less stressful than the past year has been.
Equally important for those with students in our special needs community, our IEP system is fully functional as it was on November 1st, so all IEPs saved prior to November 1st have also been restored. In simple terms, this will ensure that we can continue to provide quality education and care to our students with special needs without further disruption.
As we look towards 2021, I know the security of our systems and data is an ongoing concern for many in our community. Allow me to share some words of encouragement on that front as well: we have taken the important step of deploying state-of-the-art endpoint detection monitoring to protect against these types of threats in the future. While the security landscape is often-changing, I am confident that, like many other organizations that have been through this kind of crisis, we will emerge from it more resilient with hardened cybersecurity defenses and infrastructure.
I would like to close this message on a note of gratitude and optimism. No doubt, 2020 has tested our collective resolve. But the resilience of our students, teachers, and school-based staff is clear. This incident has put a strain on our entire community, and I want to personally thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we have worked to put this behind us.
As we re-engage in virtual learning this week, I have every confidence that our future – and the future of our students – is bright, and that whatever challenges 2021 may bring, we will overcome them together.
Darryl L. Williams, Ed.D.”