HISD To Upgrade "Aging" Computer System After It's Hacked

The Houston school district says it will spend $10 million to $15 million upgrading its computer security after a hack left some data exposed.

"Fixing this will be a financially costly endeavor, but HISD parents, taxpayers and employees must be able to trust that we take protecting their private information seriously," superintendent Terry Grier said.

Earlier this year a hacker looked at the info for at least one student, but in the process compromised information concerning other students, job applicants and employees. An FBI investigation is ongoing.

Parents and employees will receive letters and/or e-mails on the breach, the district announced.

HISD put it this way: "The aging system, combined with longstanding policies that allowed campuses to purchase computer hardware and install software with little oversight, have left HISD's network particularly vulnerable to hackers."

Among the upgrades:

·-- An immediate outside third-party review and action plan for the district's entire security environment

-- Immediately strengthening current firewall security

-- Upgrading password protocols and implementing security awareness training for all employees

-- Tasking the Technology Department with overseeing all PC usage, managing remote PC access to the network and removing some PCs from the network

-- Adding new positions in the Network Security Division

-- Limiting wireless access solely to HISD computers until the network is fully upgraded.

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