Educational Institutions are a Cybercriminal’s Gold Mine
Today’s cyberattacks are often conducted on a large scale, attacking institutions and organizations that hold a significant amount of sensitive user data. One such type of attack are leveraged against schools, colleges, and universities, many of which do not have the resources available to protect against them. Let’s go over what these types of student records do for hackers and why they are so highly valued.
Schools are at Risk for Several Reasons
Cybercriminals have more than one, two, or even a handful of reasons for targeting a school and its data. Schools play host to all kinds of data that cybercriminals can’t wait to get their grimy hands on: personal data, student records, family data, employee records, school finances, and potentially even donor information or financial aid data. School email addresses can be spoofed just like any other email address, and since phishing is one of the biggest threats to cybersecurity, it’s no wonder that parents and teachers can fall victim to these types of attacks.
It’s also worth noting that many schools have grown accustomed to remote operations, and as such, software was implemented to bridge the gap between school and student—much of which has yet to be added to school IT policies. These software solutions could be exploited by hackers looking for an easy way in. Furthermore, some schools don’t have the staff necessary to protect their infrastructures and keep everything as up-to-date as it should be. They spend more time catching up and responding to immediate needs rather than thinking about the future, or even cybersecurity training.
As such, this all contributes to the increasing danger of cyberattacks against school systems.
The Consequences of Cybercrime Targeting Schools
Considering all these reasons, it makes sense why a cybercriminal would attack a school, university, or other educational institution. There’s a lot to gain from the data held on these networks, and it might be available without too much effort, too.
A data breach could create such a disruption that schools and universities might be pressured to act immediately—including if a ransomware attack strikes, rendering access impossible, and creating greater problems for not just staff, but students as well. The threat these attacks pose is reason enough for these institutions to take cybersecurity seriously.
Let Us Help You
Whether it’s implementing cybersecurity measures or training policies, BNMC can help organizations of all kinds take a stand against the cyberthreats of the world. To learn more about what we can do for you, reach out to us at (978) 482-2020.