TEXAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two Southwest Michigan community colleges are still recovering from cyberattacks that happened within the last month.

In late April, Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek said it began to see tech problems that turned out to be a ransomware attack. Then, Kalamazoo Valley Community College announced it was dealing with network disruptions, later confirming that a cybersecurity attack was to blame.

The two security breaches happened 17 days apart. There is currently no information linking them.

The attacks that began on April 29 closed Kellogg’s campuses, canceled classes at Kalamazoo Valley and compromised various accounts and websites.

“This has unfortunately been a recurring issue for higher education institutions across the country with cyber criminals increasingly targeting universities, particularly toward the end of the semester,” a Kellogg spokesperson said.

Ron Harris, who serves as vice president for Portage-based Omega Computer Services, said this type of threats and attacks happen every day.

“It’s highly likely that these institutions are going to be targeted more, but I wouldn’t say that it is not common,” Harris said. “You’re more inept to check your email for students or staff at the end of the year because you got exams, you got all of that stuff going on.”

Harris added a possible appeal educational institutions have for hackers is the amount of money needed to operate them.

“How much data do they get, how much access do they have, what do they have over you… that’s where they’re going to start to press a little bit more and push those rates up,” Harris said. “We’ve seen them anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to a couple million dollars.”

While the sources of the attacks are not yet known, Harris is urging business owners big and small to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication for account logins, continuously educate staff on evolving threats and consider cyber liability insurance in case of a breach.

“A lot of people think that, ‘I’m too small, I’m not worth it, I don’t need to spend this money on this policy,'” Harris said. “But in actuality, they’re the ones being targeted because they don’t have the proper protections put in place.”

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, both community colleges said they were continuing to make progress in restoring network services. Kellogg says its systems were safe and secure, while Kalamazoo Valley tweeted that its student email access was back online.