Educational institutions are always at risk of cyberattacks due to the diversity in their operating systems and the number of devices managed by them. The Education sector must take strong measures for cybersecurity and the institutions should have dedicated cybersecurity teams to ensure privacy and safety.
Reasons for Cybercriminals to Attack the Education Sector
Educational institutions store valuable data like sensitive personal and financial information and valuable research data that can attract cybercriminals to attack the institutions for the data.
Attackers may also want to cause disruption and affect the institute’s operations and productivity.
Educational records are worth a lot on the black market. This kind of financial gain can motivate cybercriminals to attack educational institutes.
Colleges and universities serve as centers for research and hold valuable intellectual property. Attacks can be done to gain access to these valuables.
Types of Cybersecurity Threats in Educational Institutions
Here are the three most common types of cybersecurity threats in educational institutions.
This is the most common threat and the attack is done by sending fraudulent email or website that collects personal information like passwords. The attackers use this information to get access to the systems. These emails usually appear as official notifications requesting users to update their personal information.
Cybercriminals can also gain access to a system by sending out spam emails with malicious attachments or links. These emails also look like official notifications asking users to update their information by downloading the attachment or clicking on the link. By taking either of the actions, the system gets infected with malware or viruses.
Malware or Ransomware
Malware is a program that infects the system and can steal sensitive information. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the files in the user’s computer and gains access to it. This can be then used to demand a ransom to unlock the files. Ransomware attacks are mostly deployed through phishing or spam emails.
Importance of Cybersecurity in the Education Sector
Educational institutes need high levels of cybersecurity.
Technology is extensively used for educational purposes, from teaching to storing data. Remote learning and edutech have become an important part of teaching and the sector now relies heavily on technology.
It is of utmost importance to keep the systems safe and secure so the personal information of students and staff does not get compromised.
Any threat to the systems can cause major damage including the leaking of sensitive and personal information and disrupting operations of the institute. It is essential to keep the computers and internet secured from unauthorized access to secure the valuable information stored by the institution.
Technology in education has made the education industry more effective and efficient. By keeping it secured with strong cybersecurity, users can take advantage of the full benefits technology offers in this industry.