Multiple warnings have been issued this year from the UK government outlining the growing threat of ransomware to organisations and educational facilities across the country. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at why schools, colleges and universities here in Britain are becoming such a favoured victim of ransomware groups.
Due to poor funding, many schools and colleges do not have the resources necessary to stay secure. With a limited budget, educational institutions must allocate funds to the equipment, facilities, expertise, learning opportunities and environmental conditions for teachers and students. As a result, physical onsite security measures like CCTV, gates, railings, intruder alarms and other solutions are prioritised over data security measures like encryption software and cybersecurity training.
Unfortunately, this lack of cyber awareness and practical security solutions makes schools appear as easy targets for attackers. Without adequate measures in place, ransomware operators can infiltrate school systems to steal data or lock faculty members out of their systems until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware operators thrive by creating chaos. Schools, colleges and universities rely on their systems and data stores to provide an extensive range of services and support. Many institutions use digital solutions to teach, ensuring that students have an education that is appropriate for the era they live in and can prepare them for the modern workplace. School records must also be referred to and results from examinations retained on file.
Unable to access their information and operating systems, schools cannot function, and this is exactly the scenario that ransomware operators require for their campaigns. If a school wants to stop the disruption caused by an attack and resume providing educational services to students, it may feel forced to give into financial demands.
Educational facilities must store a great deal of data for daily use and for their records. However, the nature of this data is highly sensitive. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is kept and exchanged via email on a regular basis at schools. Files on faculty members as well as students and their families are packed with PII making the servers and systems of school’s valuable for ransomware gangs.
Stolen data is often used as leverage in ransomware negotiations; threat operators will demand payment for the non-disclosure and safe return of information on staff and students.
Protect your data today with Galaxkey
At Galaxkey, we specialise in advanced data security measures for schools, government authorities and enterprises of all sizes. If you oversee information security or you’re a key decision maker who selects the best services to protect your pupils and personnel, we can offer you a suite of tools designed to keep you compliant with regulators and peace of mind.
Our cutting-edge data encryption allows users to wrap their sensitive data in three layers of formidable protection, whether it is being stored on a server or sent via email. Our system has no backdoors for attackers to exploit and no passwords are ever left vulnerable.
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