Ransomware is one of the fastest growing malware threats and can cause major financial damages to any company that falls victim. Educational institutions have become a primary target for cybercriminals, and the threat continues to rise. Cybercriminals shut down important systems and can end up shutting schools and education facilities down for days and prevent teachers and students from gaining access to their assignments or lesson plans. More often than not, schools are paying astronomical recovery fees to release the data to restore their systems and recover data.
Why Ransomware Attacks Educational Institutions More Than Businesses
Because schools are more willing to pay the fees, cybercriminals have been more motivated to focus ransomware more on the school system. Education institutions house a large amount of personal data on their students, professors, and parents that are valuable to a hacker. If the school did not pay the ransom, hackers could sell the data on the black market for a sizable sum of money.
Schools are a goldmine for attackers as many schools lack strong cyber security to prevent these attacks from occurring. The recovery bill for ransomware for education is incredibly high. In comparison, higher education has spent 1.42 million to recover from ransomware attacks, whereas the global average is $1.4 million.
While it’s never recommended that any institution pay out the ransomware, it’s no surprise that schools are more likely to pay. Schools rely entirely on their data, and if the network and allow records are suddenly made unavailable due to a ransomware attack, any action from within the school is impossible.
Even though ransomware can halt school operations, paying the hackers is terrible. The data encrypted by hackers through ransomware is rarely fully recovered after an attack. The success ransomware has received encourages cybercriminals to continue attacking educational institutions.
Although ransomware is more common in educational institutions, it can happen to any industry or organization anytime. It’s important to take the ransomware risk seriously and ensure your business’s cyber security is consistently monitored for signs of a potential threat.
Protecting your business from ransomware requires a dual approach. You need to secure your infrastructure with preventative measures and regular employee training on the importance of cybersecurity. Your IT team should proactively monitor your network to catch any incoming issues before they create a major problem.
Wheelhouse IT can help you focus on your business while we manage your cyber security. You can rely on us to protect you against ransomware and other risks that threaten business operations. Learn more by contacting us at 954.474.2204.