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Expert Comment: New acadmic year is the prime time for cyberattacks

September 2023 by Joseph Carson, Advisory CISO and Chief Security Scientist chez Delinea

Reaching out as you may have seen that schools have been warned of cyberthreats, just as the new academic year begins – already seeing examples such as Debenham High School and Suffolk High School, most recently. Joseph Carson from Delinea has commented on why the education sector is a prime target and the preventative measures schools must implement.

As the new academic year begins, schools are again warned against cyberattack threats as they remain a prime target due to the valuable data they hold and their typically less-than-robust cybersecurity practices.

With the NCSC advising “appropriate security measures” to be put in place, schools must evaluate their incident response plans and always be ready to face cyber threats – especially at the start of a term when new students are connecting devices to school networks that often lack sufficient security controls, leaving school systems vulnerable to attacks.

Recent incidents such as the Debenham High School and Suffolk School attacks, which took systems offline just as schools returned, highlight the need to enhance security measures, prioritise automation, strong access controls and establish robust backup solutions to prevent or minimise impact on students’ education.

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