Network disruption impacts school district

Due to the effects of a network disruption, the Souderton Area School District lost access to all internet and is currently recovering from the disruption.

Recovering from a district-wide network disruption that took place over Labor Day weekend, Souderton Area School District is currently rebuilding its servers.
According to Superintendent Frank Gallagher, the technology team, curriculum department, staff, developers, coaches, and Bucks County Intermediate Unit are helping to resolve the issue.
Gallagher also stated that the school district wasn’t “sure [what had been affected] at the beginning so we were being overly secure.”
Almost immediately after the disruption, the district was able to restore email contact.
“We had email back almost immediately,” Gallagher said. “We’ve had email since the start.”
The school district also purchased new security software to prevent further attacks.
“We purchased some security software, which is on every device. And we have other precautions above that,” Gallagher said.
The school district is currently rebuilding their servers.
“We were able to rebuild most of the servers. There was one or two we were unable to rebuild. We were in the process of ordering new ones anyway,” Gallagher said.
While online access was unavailable, attendance was done by hand.
“I’ve been going through [the attendance book] since it happened; writing down all the lates, all the early dismissals, all the absences,” attendance secretary Connie Pasternak said.
Food services are still inaccessible and will take the longest to fix, according to Gallagher.
“We’re still manually doing lunch,” Gallagher said.
High school student devices will be redistributed starting October 4. Juniors and seniors will receive their devices on Friday, and freshmen and sophomores will receive their devices on Tuesday.
According to Gallagher, all devices that will be in use have been re-imaged so they will be able to be in use.
“You don’t realize how much technology you rely on until you don’t have it,” said Pasternak.
“I think the message here is for students to be aware of what’s going on. Be aware of those signs out there that says ‘hey this email doesn’t look right,’” school board president Ken Keith said.
According to Principal Sam Varano, he believes that the students and staff of the high school have been able to manage the situation.
“I think our teachers and students are doing great. We’re going to get teachers together and talk about the positives of this,” Varano said.
According to CBS News, more than 70 ransomware attacks occured in the first half of 2019. Ransomware attacks have also become more frequent over the last two years.
“This has been a challenging time,” Gallagher said. “We will be stronger on the other side.”