NEOSHO, Mo. — The Carthage School District is still working through what they have called a “cyber event.”

Meanwhile schools in Eldon, Missouri had to deal with a ransomware attack last month. It’s adding even more urgency to Neosho Schools as they beef up cyber security.

The school district is looking at a wide range of factors to try to lock down digital details of school life.

The Wildcats are hoping this proactive approach keeps the focus in the classroom

“There’s so much that’s digitized now,” said Neosho R-5 Superintendent, Dr. Jim Cummins.

Dr. Cummins says that means new and expanded options for education when things are going well.

But potential hacking could put personal information at risk, or affect the education of thousands of students.

“The bigger issue is just complete shutdown where we don’t have access to anything to really have school,” said Dr. Cummins.

The Neosho School District is working through a data security upgrade… A big task since there are as many as 6 to 7,000 electronic devices on campus.

That could involve a wide range of efforts, including new ways to backup data and testing the current system.

“Some practice penetration tests, so they’ll send out some things, trying to get our staff to bite on and just see how much of that exist.”

Also securing access to the system.

“The ability to tighten down guest Wi-Fi the ability to filter student and send that through different portals,” added Dr. Cummins.

School leaders know the risks are real – and hope action now will help protect the future.

“It happens and our best defense is to try to be as well prepared with backup systems with with security, with education and our staff and if it looks fishy, it probably is.”

Cybersecurity is on the agenda for the Neosho school board tonight – but the effort is ongoing.

They started working on the upgrades last summer.