Many school districts in the US and other countries are pursuing distance education this fall as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact in-person gatherings. As school systems rely on technology like email and video conferencing to teach classes, cybercriminals are making the most of this opportunity to score paydays and information from a sector that isn’t ready for them – considering the dismal state of cybersecurity education in the US, it stands to reason that schools’ cybersecurity isn’t much better.
Traditionally, schools and universities aren’t major targets for cybercrime. Public school systems, individual private or religious schools, community colleges, and universities haven’t traditionally been worth the trouble, since few schools could offer a rich ransomware payoff or valuable research and development data to make it worth a cybercriminal’s time.
That’s all changed in the new era of distance learning. Cybercriminals are regularly targeting school systems of every size and stripe to deploy ransomware and collect payments quickly as they disrupt distance learning. Incidents are popping up everywhere including:
- For colleges, fundraising and alumni services have been impacted by the epic BlackBaud breach.
- Rialto Unified School District in California suffered a ransomware incident just two days into the new school year, stopping classes for 25,000 students.
- Lake Elsinore Unified School District in California also had significant disruptions through Zoom bombing and DDoS incidents.
- Selma Unified School District experienced periodic disruptions in student email service.
- The University of Utah was recently the victim of a ransomware attack.
- Michigan State was impacted by Magecart skimming.
And the list goes on. An influx in cyberattacks on schools isn’t just bad news for school systems either. Businesses can be impacted by these incidents as well when parents and students share the same WiFi networks and devices.
Add Protection to Prevent Intrusion
The fastest, easiest way for any business to immediately add a strong layer of protection between crucial systems and data and bad actors is to add a strong, fast-deploying secure identity and access management solution like Passly.
The combined power of Multifactor Authentication and Single Sign-On with simple remote management means that IT staffers can more easily guard and control the gateways that give access to information – letting the right people have access to the right things, anytime, anywhere, and keeping cybercriminals out.