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UA Little Rock works to defend against cyber attacks

It's an exciting time as students go back to class, but it can also be one of their most vulnerable, especially on the computer.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Threats of cyber attacks have increased across the nation, including here in Arkansas.

It's not just big companies that need to worry though— small businesses and other organizations also need to a plan to stay protected.

Even our schools are making sure their computers are secure.

UA Little Rock students are getting the tools they need to ensure that they are secure when getting online.

While it's always an exciting time when students go back to class, it can also be one of their most vulnerable moments, especially online.

"Cyber attacks are just a part of the internet. They're constantly happening and students seem to attract them because they are very energetic on the computers," said Philip Huff, an assistant professor of computer science at UA Little Rock.

Attacks could be initiated in order to get money or information, and no one is entirely safe from becoming a target.

"It's a crime of opportunity. You can go after about any organization and schools are certainly not exempt," Huff explained.

Ransomware complaints to the FBI rose 82% from 2019 to 2021— and when a cyber-attack happens, they're often the first people to respond.

UA Little Rock will keep student files and sensitive records stored on an isolated system to help protect their information from attacks.

Students can also take additional steps to help protect themselves. 

Enabling two-way identification on any social or online accounts and protecting your password by changing it occasionally and never sharing it with others can help keep you safe.

UA Little Rock students are also using these skills to help others in the community by working alongside small businesses to teach them how to protect their digital platforms.

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