After Ransomware Attack, School District Says Chromebooks Safe But Not Windows Laptops

The Baltimore County school district just provided another reason to consider switching to a Chromebook.

This is the notice the Baltimore County Public Schools issued this past week after a Ransomware attack:

“We now know that BCPS-issued Chromebooks were not impacted by the cyber attack. You may now safely use: BCPS-issued Chromebooks and BCPS Google accounts for students and staff.

Please do not use BCPS-issued Windows-based devices until further notice.”

The upshot — at least from this school district in this ransomware case: Chromebooks are safe, Windows laptops aren’t.

Hewlett-Packard backed this sentiment up during a reviewer workshop* call I participated in with HP Chromebook managers and executives on Thursday.

Among other reasons for switching to Chromebooks from Windows — such as fast setup and price — security is now an incentive for customers to adopt Chromebooks, said Nicola Liu, Product Planner, BPS Chrome at HP.

Security is serious in the age of COVID

Work-at-home and school-at-home scenarios are providing more opportunities for cybercriminals to infect computers with malware — and in the most serious cases ransomware, as cybersecurity experts have warned over and over.

With remote learning and online classes, schools are favorite targets for cybercriminal syndicates such as those behind the Maze strain of ransomware.

And make no mistake: if your organization is infected with ransomware it will be catastrophic.

Chromebooks — which are seeing surging popularity in education — could be a safer alternative.

Price and easy setup also big motivators for Chromebooks

Chromebooks are cheap, typically priced between $400 and $800. And premium Chromebooks like HP’s new Elite c1030 Chromebook (starting at $999) are generally about $500 to $1,000 cheaper than premium Windows laptops. Not to mention MacBooks.

And the software is generally cheaper than Windows.

Setup is fast. I use several Chromebooks and configuring a new model this week — automatically installing the desktop I have on my other…