Cybersecurity must be prioritized in educational institutions. Despite considerable problems such as a shortage of manpower as well as a lack of financing and resources, cyberattacks in education are no less common or serious. In reality, they appear to be increasing in occurrence year after year as breaches in schools and higher institutions are frequently reported. Indeed, one of the reasons for getting online exam help from professionals is for the sake of keeping their info private.
The development and use of newer technology, as well as the disruption produced by the COVID-19 epidemic, have exacerbated the problem. Cyber thieves are targeting educational institutions with strategies and technologies that have previously been successful against enterprises.
In the first half of 2017, the education sector accounted for 13% of all data breaches, resulting in the compromise of about 32 million records!
The following are the primary reasons for the education sector's appeal as a target among cybercriminals:
- Financial Gain:
The first thing that comes to mind for why these hackers hack is for financial gain. The school data may be sold on the illicit market for up to hundreds of dollars maybe thousands. The prospect of such massive financial benefit is more than enough to entice threat actors to target educational institutions.
While public schools may not be as vulnerable, private institutions like Universities/Colleges, which handle a huge amount of student fees, are a major target for hackers.
Nowadays, it is common for students or parents to pay someone to do online class, typically sending huge quantities of money to cover a whole term or year of tuition. Without sufficient protection or preparedness on the side of educational institutions, this creates a vulnerability for hackers to exploit.
- Significant Data:
While educational institutions may not appear to be as profitable as healthcare firms or private enterprises, they serve as a treasure mine of sensitive financial and personal information, as well as valuable proprietary research data. This sort of information can be beneficial to cybercriminals for a variety of reasons, including whether they intend to sell it to a third party or use it as a negotiating tactic to extort money.The worrying feature of this form of assault is that hackers can remain undetected for extended periods of time. As was the situation at Berkeley, when at least 160,000 medical records were reportedly taken over a period of months from University computers.
Another reason cyber thief targets the education industry is espionage. Universities and colleges, for example, are frequently used as research hubs and have significant intellectual property. In the case of higher education establishments such as Universities/Colleges, they are frequently research centers with significant intellectual property.
Universities/Colleges must be well safeguarded, as it is believed that science, engineering, and medical research at UK universities have previously been infiltrated by hackers, and with plenty of time and money to pay them, professionals are frequently at the helm of these assaults.
- Having an Impact on Operations:
Several assaults against academic institutions have been carried out with the intention of causing widespread disturbance and negatively impacting the institute's productivity.
DDoS assaults, or distributed denial of service attacks, are a popular sort of attack on all levels of education venues. In this case, the attacker's goal is to create broad disruption to the institute's network, resulting in decreased production.
This might be a relatively simple assault for inexperienced hackers to carry out, particularly if the target network is not well-protected. There have been reports of students or professors successfully carrying out a DDoS assault for reasons ranging from just requesting a day off to objecting to how a complaint was handled.
How to Minimize Risks
Schools must implement cyber threat mitigation methods to protect student data, research, processes, and finances.
To do this, security patches must be kept up to date, and processes for defending and testing environments must be used. Analyze, prioritize, and respond to risks rapidly by visualizing and understanding harmful or unusual activities. This implies that Managed Detection & Response is the only method to protect data, students, staff, and operations.
Not only should technological techniques be implemented, but all students and employees should be actively encouraged to participate in internal training. Especially in the case of ransomware and phishing. Educating children about cyber hazards and teaching them how to spot threats and security devices can foster an awareness culture.
Cyber security in the education industry is critical for a variety of reasons, the most significant of which is to safeguard students' safety and privacy. So, take the required precautions today to keep your companies safe from cyber dangers.