Education has become a top target for hackers for several reasons. Schools and universities hold large amounts of sensitive data, including students' and staff members' personal information, financial records, and health information. This data is attractive to criminals because scammers can use it for identity theft, fraud, and other malicious activities.
In addition, the education sector is often behind the curve when it comes to cyber security. Schools and universities may not have the resources or expertise to protect their data from increasingly sophisticated attacks. As a result, they are often forced to play catch-up after an attack has already occurred.
This was the case with the recent string of cyberattacks targeting schools and universities in the United States. In many instances, the attackers were able to exploit vulnerabilities that had been known for months or even years.
There are some key lessons that can be learned from past education industry data breaches:
Schools are a prime target for cybercriminals: As mentioned above, schools and universities are prime targets for cybercriminals. This is due to the large amounts of sensitive data they hold and their often limited ability to protect that data.
Staff require more security training: In many cases, it is not the technology that fails but the people using it. Staff members may not be aware of the importance of cyber security or how to protect data adequately. As a result, they may unwittingly expose the organization to attack.
Be wary of phishing attacks: Phishing attacks are among the most common cyberattacks. They occur when an attacker tricks a person into clicking on a malicious link or opening a malicious attachment. These attacks can be challenging to detect, so it is vital to be aware of them and take steps to protect yourself.
There are several steps that students and teachers can take to protect themselves from cyberattacks:
Keep software up to date: Outdated software is one of the most common ways attackers gain access to systems. Keeping all software up to date is important, including operating systems, browsers, and applications. Install anti-malware and anti-virus software: Anti-malware and anti-virus software can help protect your system from malicious software. Be sure to install these programs and keep them up to date.
Choose strong passwords: Strong passwords are essential for protecting your accounts. They should be long, complex, and unique. Avoid using easily guessed words or information such as your birthdate.
Undergo security awareness training: It is essential to be aware of the latest cyber security threats and how to protect yourself from them. Many organizations offer security awareness training for employees and students.
Report suspicious activity: If you see something fishy, report it to your security team or the authorities. Do not click on links or open attachments from people you don't know.
Back up data regularly: Regular backups are essential for protecting your data. In the event of an attack, you will be able to restore your data from a backup. The education sector is facing an increasing number of cyberattacks. These attacks can be costly and cause significant disruption.
By following the tips above, students and teachers can help protect themselves from cyberattacks and safeguard their data.