Here’s What Universities Need to Know About Cyber-Attacks

Here’s What Universities Need to Know About Cyber-Attacks

Posted June 1, 2021

Here’s What Universities Need to Know About Cyber-Attacks

  • Universities have learnt to operate entirely remotely and now that learning may resume in person, a hybrid education model will likely continue. The transition from physical to online models happened so quickly that it left many IT networks exposed to serious harm from outside forces.
  • Universities operate large corporate-sized networks, but without the budgets to match. Add to that, teachers and students aren’t given training to use and connect their technology in a safe way.
  • Three lessons universities need to quickly take on board:
    • Your Research is Valuable to Cyber-Criminals
      • There is a hefty price tag on some of the research conducted by universities, which makes it particularly attractive to cyber-criminals.
    • Personal Information of Students and Staff Can Easily Fall into the Wrong Hands
      • Attackers use phishing to break into university networks and sneak around, undetected, in search of data they believe has the highest value – both to the victim and to other cyber-criminals who might pay good money for it. Quite often, this information is sold or published on the dark web, which can lead to staff and students becoming victims of further crimes, such as identity theft.
    • A Cyber-attack Can Knock Everything Offline
      • With some students still studying remotely, an attack could see students left sitting at home, unable to access course materials, online tools and any of the other resources they need to get on with their work. For university students paying £9,000 a year and facing some of the most important exams of their lives, the implications of a cyber-attack are enormous on both a financial and personal level.

– Jonathan Lee | June 1, 2021