Messages from Dr. Deitemeyer about the Recent Cyberintrusion Incident

Students

You have faced the unimaginable — a pandemic — but you continue to persist toward your educational goals. We all have our eyes on brighter days ahead, where we can return to a more normal teaching and learning experience. Yet here we are, asking for your patience and continued resilience, as our college family faces a new challenge.

The malicious and unwarranted cyberattack against us on February 10 feels like a punch to the chest: It knocked us back some, but we are not out.

We know this situation is making an already incredibly difficult time even harder for our cherished students and employees. The ransomware attack on our college has limited our ability temporarily to deliver courses and carry out our other important work. Will this deter us from our mission to help you achieve your educational goals? Absolutely not.

We will get through this together. I am so proud of the resilience and strength you’ve shown this past year. We will continue to be adaptable and innovative. We are finding solutions around and over the obstacles in front of us. We just need you to persist some more, and stay with us.

We will work with our students to make sure your grades, attendance, and completion goals are not impacted permanently as a result of these technology disruptions. Staying flexible and patient will be key for all of us.

Our network services will return; however, it has to be a slow and deliberate process as our Information Technology Services team carefully determines which systems to bring online first. It’s tough to be disconnected. We miss communicating with you through our usual channels.

For now, we’ve set up a special technology interruptions section on our website to be your home for all the latest updates. There are areas each for students and employees. Please check the site frequently for updates. We will send you voice and text alerts when updates have been posted until our email system is restored.

We know it’s already been a hard year for all of you. We’re so sorry the cyber-attackers created this new challenge. Please hang in there. We will get through this together. We will come out the other side stronger in our resolve to Conquer Possibility.

Thanks, and take care.

Kandi W. Deitemeyer, Ed.D.

Employees

As we entered 2021, we were hopeful the impact of the pandemic on our college and each other would begin to fade and allow us to return to a more normal teaching and learning experience. Unfortunately, the recent cyberattack on our college has temporarily limited our ability to deliver courses and carry out our other important work.

We know this malicious attack makes an already incredibly difficult time even harder. Our teams that had already been stretched by moving classes and services online due to the pandemic are now being pressed again to deal with a severe technology outage.

However, let us assure you: We will not be deterred. The impact of the cyberattack will be a temporary setback. As before, we will get through this together. We will meet our mission of serving students and the community.

We could not be prouder of our employees and students who have shown tremendous resilience and strength over the past year. We know this is just the latest frustration in nearly a year of pandemic-related stressors and changes. We are working day and night to get classes and services restarted as soon as possible. Hang in there with us and be patient. It may feel slow but it is a deliberate process to determine the order in which to bring back up each technology system. It will take some time to bring all those systems back online.

We know the temporary loss of our traditional communication channels of email and phone makes information sharing difficult. We have to pivot and use the new technology interruptions section of the website as our go-to for the latest updates. There are sections each for students and employees. Please check frequently and share any updates with your teammates so we’ll all be in the loop the best we can.

When it comes to our students, our faculty and staff members have shown the utmost determination and care during the pandemic. Just as we were setting our eyes on brighter days ahead, this cyberattack seems like a body blow to all of us. We must draw from our culture of care and continue to support each other. We must remain steadfast in our work as we navigate this event and stay adaptable, resilient, and innovative.

We will take care of our students and we will take care of each other. None of us wanted to go through this, but it will present us with opportunities to learn and move forward in new ways. We as faculty and staff members must be more resilient than ever — we know our students are counting on us.

When our network services return, and we know they will, Central Piedmont will be a better institution; we will be stronger. I know we’re all asking, “why?” Why Central Piedmont? Why now, when we’re still working against a pandemic? Most of us are having difficulty understanding why this had to happen.

Just as we’re asking our students, we all need to do the same — please hang in there. Things might seem to move slowly for a while, but work is ongoing. I lift up our incredible Information Technology Services team members for the endless hours they have put in already. In addition to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state-level experts, we’re bringing in additional resources to assist and support our Information Technology Services team. It will take some time — please be patient.

I ask all of us to dig even deeper, and strengthen our resolve. It’s our mission to help every student Conquer Possibility!

Thanks, and take care.

Kandi W. Deitemeyer, Ed.D.