Worldwide massive increase in attacks against educational institutions

Weltweit massiver Anstieg von Angriffen gegen Bildungseinrichtungen

Cyber ​​attacks expected at the beginning of school

Check Point Research saw dangerous developments in July. German educational institutions are facing a 24 percent increase in virtual attacks per week. A bad sign before the start of a new school year and the start of the winter semester at universities.

Overall, the global education sector recorded a 29 percent increase in cyber attacks in July and an average of 1739 attacks per week compared to the first half of 2021. The most frequent attacks were in Italy (+ 70 percent), Israel (+ 51 Percent), India (+ 22 percent), Australia (+ 17 percent) and Turkey (+ 5 percent).

Lothar Geuenich, Regional Director Central Europe at Check Point Software Technologies GmbH

Lothar Geuenich, Regional Director Central Europe at Check Point , therefore warns: “Cyber ​​criminals will try to capitalize on starting school. We found that the education sector was attacked significantly more frequently in July compared to other industries. Schools, universities and research centers are attractive targets for hackers because they are often inadequately equipped from a security perspective. The short-term move to distance learning exacerbates the risk. With many students logging in again from their home networks with their personal devices, back to school presents a host of new threats that many are unprepared for. However, it is important to constantly change and strengthen the passwords in order to create a security awareness and to use technology that prevents attacks such as ransomware. ”

Cyber ​​security tips for academics, staff, and students

  • Strengthen passwords. Passwords are important – it’s a good idea to verify and strengthen passwords that you use to log into remote resources like email or work applications.
  • Watch out for phishing: Do not click on links that look suspicious in any way and only download content from reliable sources that can be verified. Remember, phishing is a form of social engineering. So if you receive an email with an unusual request, carefully review the sender’s details to make sure you are communicating with coworkers, not cyber criminals.
  • Reduce the attack surface: A common approach in information security is to reduce the attack surface. With end devices, you have to take full control of peripherals, applications, network traffic and your data. You need to encrypt data when it’s in motion, resting, and in use. You also need to make sure that you enforce your company policies to ensure endpoint security compliance
  • Use anti-ransomware . With this technology, you can detect signs of ransomware and detect ongoing mutations in known and unknown malware families using behavioral analysis and generic rules.
  • Contain and remedy. You can contain attacks and limit the damage by detecting and blocking command and control traffic, and preventing the lateral spread of malware by isolating infected computers. You can then remediate and sterilize your environment by restoring encrypted files, quarantining files, killing processes, and sterilizing the entire chain of attacks.

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