Historic Black College Closed Due to Cyberattack and Other Reasons

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The news is out that historic Black college Lincoln College is shutting down following financial woes amidst the pandemic which were magnified by a cyberattack attack last December:

Lincoln College has notified the Illinois Department of Higher Education and Higher Learning Commission of permanent closure, effective May 13, 2022. The Board of Trustees has voted to cease all academic programming at the end of the spring semester.

Lincoln College has survived many difficult and challenging times – the economic crisis of 1887, a major campus fire in 1912, the Spanish flu of 1918, the Great Depression, World War II, the 2008 global financial crisis, and more, but this is different. Lincoln College needs help to survive.

The institution experienced record-breaking student enrollment in Fall 2019, with residence halls at maximum capacity. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic dramatically impacted recruitment and fundraising efforts, sporting events, and all campus life activities. The economic burdens initiated by the pandemic required large investments in technology and campus safety measures, as well as a significant drop in enrollment with students choosing to postpone college or take a leave of absence, which impacted the institution’s financial position.

Furthermore, Lincoln College was a victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of Fall 2022 enrollment projections. All systems required for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts were inoperable. 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.

This illustrates the sort of damage that cyberattacks can have.

Saryu Nayyar, CEO and Founder of Gurucul had this to say about this unfortunate news:

“The impact of ransomware on relatively smaller organizations can be catastrophic. A 157-year-old institution already hampered by the impact of the pandemic having to shut down during a critical period due to ransomware is tragic. Ransomware has a much broader impact to business than simply the payment to restore services. There are plenty of other costs related to stolen and resold data, business availability and employee downtime that are virtually impossible to predict upfront but with no less impact. Organizations need to invest in the latest threat detection, investigation and response tools that can empower even smaller teams to rapidly detect attack campaigns such as ransomware early in the kill chain. This requires advanced analytics and trained machine learning (ML) with out-of-the-box detection capabilities to automate manual tasks and accelerate security analyst or engineer efforts before data is stolen and/or encrypted as a precursor to ransomware detonation.”

 

I hope that someone or some organization steps in to help them as it would be a shame if this historic Black college were allowed to close under these circumstances.

Black College Closed Due to Cyberattack

Black College Closed Due to Cyberattack
External Link: Historic Black College Closed Due to Cyberattack and Other Reasons

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