Cybersecurity attacks on educational systems are on the rise. A jaw-dropping 87% of educational institutions have been breached. Close to the same amount, 73% of educational systems are still not prepared for cybersecurity attacks. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that recent research revealed the education sector ranks as the least secure industry with the highest vulnerabilities in endpoint security, software updates, and application security. Education cybersecurity is more important than ever.
Cybersecurity Attacks on Educational Systems—The New Normal
In recent years, ransomware attacks on colleges have doubled. A Cybersecurity in Higher Education report found that ransomware attacks on universities increased by 100% in 2020 with major fiscal consequences.
Cybersecurity attacks on educational systems cost almost $450K on average. Meanwhile, two thirds of universities are missing even baseline email security measures, and 86% were botnet targets. Education cybersecurity is often overlooked, and it shows.
The Alarming Industry-Wide Impact
These cybersecurity attacks on educational systems haven’t been limited to colleges either. 128 school districts have experienced multiple education cybersecurity incidents over the last seven years. Education records pull in thousands on the dark web—including sensitive information similar to other government agencies and healthcare organizations.
Education Cybersecurity is a Growing Focal Point
A public K-12 Cyber Incident Map tracks all known cybersecurity attacks on US K-12 public schools reveals that there have been over a thousand attacks in just the last few years.
These education cybersecurity attacks include:
- Personal data exposed via unauthorized breaches, disclosures, hacks, and ransomware and phishing attacks
- Service denial cybersecurity attacks
- School disruptions and compromised data due to other cyberthreats and bad actors
In 2020, there were almost 400 education cybersecurity incidents reported, a number that’s rising at an alarming rate. A growing number of higher-education hackings are a concerning example.
Cue the University of Michigan Cyberattack
The University of Michigan cybersecurity attack is making headlines. After a recent cybersecurity incident, the university has taken all of its systems and services offline—igniting an expansive impact on critical services on the brink of the new school year—the night before.
The university shared that the cybersecurity attack sparked outages disrupting access to email and more everyday online tools. While the university’s IT team worked to restore the systems impacted, due to the severity of the breach the entire network had to be temporarily disconnected. Taking down the network also took the campus WiFi network, eResearch, DART, M-Pathways, and student registration systems.
The University of Michigan cyberattack, UM has waived late registration and disenrollment fees for the month. Due to the lack of access to critical systems, students have been afforded extra accommodations in support of the ability to attend classes and complete assignments. The university also announced that both financial aid payments and refunds are delayed due to the outage, an unfortunate result of the breach that could have a widespread impact for university students and their families. This is just one of the latest reported MOVEit data breaches.
MOVEit Data Breaches Target Educational Institutions
Thousands of organizations have been impacted by MOVEit attacks, 80% of them were based in the United States. The lack of education cybersecurity has become abundantly apparent as these trends continue. Cybersecurity attacks on educational systems are set to outpace other highly-regulated industries due to the sensitive nature of data and the lack of robust security infrastructure in place.
The good news? 85% of university executives agree that more IT funding for education cybersecurity initiatives is critical to protect students and research IPs.
Education Cybersecurity is paramount, Fruth Group can help.
Connect with one of Fruth Group’s security experts to see how you can protect your IP research, student records, and reputation. A strong defense is the best offence to cybersecurity attacks like this one that could’ve been easily prevented.