5 Reasons Why the Education Sector Is a Hotspot for Cyber Attacks

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Education institutions vary in size, status, and function. Therefore, there may be different reasons why cybercriminals may find a particular institution an item of interest. For instance, some institutes face funding problems, making them an easy target for attackers. Additionally, weak security measures expose schools and students to cyber attackers and cyberbullies.

School attacks are similar to the rest of other fields. If anything, it’s worse in schools since there is a lot to gain from them, from data to money. Therefore, students should stop assuming that they are immune from being attacked. They should develop measures to prevent such attacks and even a recovery plan if they get attacked. Below are some main reasons schools and students are potential targets for cybercriminals.

Finances

The primary factor that makes schools a good target is money. Learning institutions make a lot of money from fees and other funding. With poor security, criminals can easily access the funds. Public schools may not be victims of such but private schools and institutions generating a lot of income from many students are likely to be attacked frequently.

Again, it draws down to how a school has protected its data. Some institutions have given their staff crucial details such as passwords to accounts. The same staff members can violate cybersecurity policies and plot an attack on the school to intercept funds coming in or going out of the school accounts.

Spying

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Schools provide a good and easy spot for cybercriminals to spy. Universities and other higher learning institutions are often used to research matters affecting the country, and thus they have precious information that might interest criminals. Even though the government has invested a lot in enhancing data storage security in such institutions, cybercriminals are also becoming sophisticated in their game. So they continue to pose a danger to crucial research projects.

Theft of Data

Data theft has been ongoing in the education sector. Schools have big data, especially institutions of higher learning. Staff, students, and contractors’ information can be helpful to criminals since they can be sold or used as blackmail to get money. Before such a breach occurs and the school is held liable, it should completely protect its data using advanced measures such as encryption.

Data stealing can be done gradually without even the school’s notice. Some hackers carry out such activities without leaving a trace, and thus, institutions need to guard their data so that it does not end up in the wrong hands.

Students also need to exercise caution when using the internet. For instance, when looking for essay writing help, one needs to evaluate the site where they want to get the help. They should be careful with disclosing personal information. The same applies when using the internet for research writing.

Cause Disruptions

Disruption of courses is an attack mainly carried out by amateurs to interrupt normal activities in an institution. They do not cause much damage. However, they can be a wake-up call for an institution to upgrade its information and data protection. Such attacks are, in most cases, done by staff and even students.

They have little malice attached to them. For example, a staff member might want a day off, or students who do not like to learn may want a free day. The attacks may be minor, but they speak volumes about how the school has protected its networks.

Complex Systems

It is hard to regulate school systems since students log in and off using insecure methods. Some do not even log off at all. Therefore, it makes the data prominent, making it hard for the IT department to integrate them and adequately secure the information.

Managing such large files can be overwhelming to the IT guys, which leaves the school vulnerable to cybercriminals. Therefore, institutes should invest in IT gurus who can integrate all the data and keep it safe.

Final Thoughts

Protection of school systems should be the priority before even thinking of infrastructures. In a world where simple data can be sold for a large amount of money, it’s best to be safe than sorry. Therefore, it must be everyone’s duty in the institution to ensure that they do not put the school in a compromising position. The IT department must properly store data to prevent access from unauthorized persons.

It is best to remember that the more sophisticated the safety methods are, the more the hackers also up their game. Therefore, frequent updating should be done.

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About the Author: Brian Novak