LOSING $80,000 is a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, it is an occurrence the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District encountered in October.
It was discovered that the school district’s account at a local bank was somehow hacked, resulting in the massive money loss.
With funding an issue for all our local schools, an episode of such proportions can yield major problems. To the credit of the Bridgeport’s school leadership team, it handled a tough situation adeptly and the resultant loss was minimal at worst.
Instead of costly and possibly fruitless legal issues with the individuals involved in the scheme, the district opted to negotiate with its insurance carrier. As a result, nearly 90 percent of the money had been recouped.
Funds not recovered included attorney’s fees and expenses spent on forensic testing of the computer system.
Thus, the school district comes out of this predicament fairly unscathed financially. Moreover, Bridgeport school officials will turn the episode into a learning situation.
First, the district is utilizing a different bank to handle its finances. Now, one computer is dedicated to only finances. Another new safeguard is that it takes more than one person with different codes at different times to make a money transaction to happen.
What initially was an $80K nightmare for Bridgeport schools has since become a valuable educational tool which has made for a more foolproof accounting system in the district.