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Comment - NCSC update guidance for education sector after rise of attacks

March 2021 by Richard Hughes, Head of Technical Cyber Security at A&O IT Group

The National Cyber Security Centre have released refreshed guidance and additional support to the education sector due to the spike in attacks. The NCSC said it had seen a significant increase in the number of attacks since February as establishments prepared to welcome back their students for face-to-face learning, and while it is unable to disclose details of any specific operations, it has been providing extensive incident response assistance. The comment from Richard Hughes, Head of Technical Cyber Security at A&O IT Group:

It comes as no surprise that in the past month the NCSC has issued fresh new guidance and support to the educational sector following the immense increase in ransomware attacks in the first few months of this year.

Industries such as the education sector are often considered “low hanging fruit” to cyber criminals because, while these types of organisations rely heavily on data, cyber security is not always their top priority. In today’s world, cyber security needs to be every companies’ top priority! Without an effective enterprise-wide cyber security roadmap, they are directly exposing themselves to serious financial and reputational risk. Neither of which any business wants or needs.

As we’ve said before, the best way to protect against ransomware 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.

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