Comment - College closes all campuses for a week following ‘major’ cyber attack
March 2021 by Kyle Turner, Regional Manager – Cybersecurity at A
This morning news broke that a Birmingham college has closed all its campuses to students for a week following a “major” ransomware cyber-attack that disabled its core IT systems. The eight sites of South and City College Birmingham will be shut and revert to online teaching from today while computer forensic specialists work to fix the problem.
The comment from Kyle Turner, Regional Manager – Cybersecurity at A&O IT Group:
Educational Institutes becoming big targets to ransomware attacks
In the midst of COVID-19, ransomware attacks have increased immensely, and a major reason for this increase is that more and more business are now relying on their online and remote working capabilities than ever before. Ransomware attacks have never been too bias of industry, they target any business that relies heavily on information systems and data, and now days that is every business. However, there are a few industries that have been prime targets and there is good reason for that. Looking at some of the major victims of these attacks, they would include professional services, healthcare, and education sectors.
The reason that these industries are the most attractive to attackers is largely because they are often considered the “Low Hanging Fruit” to cyber criminals. That is because these types of organizations rely heavily on data while cyber security is not always their top priority. Thus, making them easy targets for attack. In today’s world, cybersecurity needs to be every companies’ top priority! Without an effective enterprise-wide cybersecurity roadmap, they are directly exposing themselves to serious financial and reputational risk. Neither of which any business wants or needs.
They best way to protect against these types of attacks is having a tested secure backup strategy that can help restore any data that may have been ransomed. But, since prevention is better than cure, it is even more important that this data does not get into the wrong hands to begin with. So, by implementing good patching practices, ensuring your network is secure, and training your staff on the risks involved with phishing emails, you will be in a much better position to thwart these attacks altogether.