The Growing Need for Cyber Security in Education
The global pandemic introduced an unprecedented requirement for educational institutions to find IT solutions to allow their staff and students to work remotely.
In their haste to get as much tech in the hands of the people who need it, the added requirement of cyber security was often overlooked.
This overall lack of cyber security in the education sector led to it becoming a very appealing target for cyber criminals worldwide, and inevitably this has led to a massive increase in ransomware and other cyber crime attacks on schools.
The education sector was responsible for 884 Million leaked records globally in 2020, only the tech and healthcare sectors were more vulnerable to cyber security incidents.
Educating The Educators
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has recently issued alerts about the increase of ransomware attacks on the UK education sector.
A recent ransomware demand in the US saw the University of California San Francisco have to pay out a reported 1.4 Million Dollars to free its systems after a month-long standoff with the criminals.
Emphasis was placed on the need for UK organisations to prevent these attacks and educate themselves on the steps they can take to disrupt these criminal activities, and enable recovery from attacks.
Types of Threat
There are multiple types of cyber attack that criminal gangs can employ, ranging from technically complicated (DDOS attacks) to simply tricking someone into giving up the information willingly (Phishing).
Ransomware attacks attempt to access the establishment’s networks in a number of ways, including:
- Remote access, which is usually gained via remote desktop or Virtual Private Networks (VPN). These can often happen as a result of users having weak passwords, a lack of added measures such as two factor authentication, and unpatched and outdated software.
- Phishing attacks, which are when somebody acting as a known individual or business will send a legitimate-looking email to the intended victim. These will encourage users to click a link or supply some urgently needed information. This type of attack has increased during the pandemic, as 1 in 3 people were working from home.
A cyber security review from Virtue Technologies can help prevent such attacks affecting your institution and we’re able to offer rapid recovery in the event of a breach.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Educational institutions also want to ensure they are prepared for any cyber crime threat by having the correct IT policies and procedures in place and staff and students alike have good awareness of risks.
We all store huge amounts of personal data on our computers and other connected devices, and this data has a value to the cyber criminal.
Virtue Technologies’ cyber security solutions protect the devices and services that users access online from theft, damage and unauthorised access.
We recognise that every academic establishment is different and so we have developed support and service options tailored to your requirements.
A Connected World
Precise data on the level of cyber attacks on schools is difficult to come by, as most schools are not required to report such attacks and it can be reputationally damaging to make such information public.
Often state schools have very limited budgets for cyber security, making them a very inviting target for ransomware, and a lack of specialist knowledge can become very costly. It’s estimated that data breaches cost UK organisations an average of £2.9 Million per breach.
It is thought 1 in 5 schools have had no cyber security training and ineffective cyber security policies and procedures in place.
Virtue is recognised for being at the forefront of innovation by helping schools to use technology to meet targets both in the classroom and operationally.
We will work to understand your challenges and issues, so that we can deliver bespoke solutions that help your setting to thrive.
We work with schools across the UK to support their ICT vision. Providing consistent services and tools, whilst reducing costs. Read some of our case studies here.