January 17, 2020
Dear Verona Faculty & Staff,
Many of us will agree that technology has enhanced our lives in many ways. Alternatively, we live in a world where new and unique challenges end up on our desks each and every day.
Hackers use viruses, malware, and ransomware to infiltrate organizations and their technology infrastructure. You may have heard these stories on the evening news. You may have even read these terms pop up on your Facebook feed. These types of technology security breaches are all around us and occurring more often than we wish were true. We don’t have to look very far than school districts in the area, such as the Livingston Public Schools and the Cherry Hill Public School District , that have recently become victims of these technology security breaches in the past few months.
These hackers operate through clandestine approaches and seek to take control of a school district’s servers requiring exorbitant ransom in an effort to return teacher files, district data, and personal information. In some instances, hackers will email staff members posing as a colleague asking you to click on a link. Once that link is clicked, hackers gain access to control a district’s network servers. There have also been reported cases of hackers posing as staff members requesting a change of their bank account for their direct deposit. There is no doubt we live in a very different time and one that requires everyone’s vigilance.
As a matter of maintaining our district security, we are unable to share with the public the security measures we have taken over the past five years. Rest assured we continue to evolve with the changing times to keep us safe. Our Technology Department has made great strides to protect us from these types of invasions, but there is still much more work to do.
We continue to reflect on our current practices, our natural progression, and the next steps that must be employed. These safeguarding measures will require all of our cooperation, patience, and flexibility. Please know that impending changes are intended to ensure each of you, our students, and the entire Verona Public School district remain safe.
I have discussed these concerns with Mr. Eltion Ballaj, Director of Technology, who will continue to work with you and our IT Department to ensure your accounts and our school district remain safe in such turbulent times. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.
Dr. Rui Dionisio
Superintendent of Schools