The education sector has been rocked by a series of Cyber attacks since the COVID-19 pandemic, as remote learning and the systems used to implement it have come under increased attacks and scrutiny.
The school environment must be able to safeguard the data of minors, whilst remaining innovative to new educational software, better enabling their students’ grades. Attackers target schools because they are perceived as easy targets. They have several computerised devices, often left unattended for student use. The security infrastructure is not commonly advanced and there can be lapses within the patching and updating strategy for machines, leaving them vulnerable to a Cyber attack. The NCSC reported in 2019 that 83% of schools had experienced a Cyber incident despite 98% having antivirus on all devices, and 99% using a firewall.
Most worryingly for schools though, is the lack of proactive security awareness training. With over 80% of attacks the result of human interaction, there is no better cost effective way to reduce risk within the education sector, than through the effective upskilling of its staff. Both the NCSC and the UK government recommend obtaining Cyber Essentials, the governments certification standard for Cyber Security, which could affect future funding arrangements.
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