North Dakota’s Chief Information Officer Says the School Data Breach Should be Taken Seriously

Local News

Continuing coverage on a data breach:

If your child is enrolled in Bismarck or Mandan Public Schools, their information may have been compromised.

This was a nationwide data breach that affected more than 13,000 schools and universities. As we reported yesterday, the student data that was taken is limited to first and last names and dates of birth and emails.

We sat down with North Dakota’s Chief Information Officer to find out just how serious the breach is. He says it could affect up to 70,000 students in 58 districts across the state.

The CIO says although it seems like simple information that was stolen, it’s actually enough for the perpetrator to impersonate you, or even find a way to hack into your email.

The State Chief Information Officer, Shawn Riley explains, “We don’t expect that they’ll get directly to social security numbers or bank accounts, or any of that type of information. But it does give an attacker a leg up on their ability to try to pivot into that information from another system.”

Pearson has been working with security experts and says there is no evidence that any data has been misused so far.

Riley says the state IT Department is working with them as well to make sure they do restructure their data going forward.

Right now, no other school districts have reported an issue, but Riley says they could be affected.

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