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Expert commentary on data breach affecting UK schools from Steven Wood, OpenText

January 2023 by Steven Wood, Director, EMEA and APAC at OpenText Security Solutions

This morning, news broke that highly confidential documents from schools
have been leaked online by hackers. Please read the full story here:
Schools hit by cyber attack and documents leaked. In response to this, we wanted to share expert commentary on the story from Steven Wood, Director, EMEA and APAC at OpenText Security

"It’s unsurprising that education institutions continue to be targets
for cybercriminals, especially considering they can be large, extensive
organisations that are hard to administer and secure. Balancing
resources between their mission of educating their students and the need
for cybersecurity is an ongoing challenge.

As the education sector is a huge pool of highly sensitive data, often
pertaining to vulnerable individuals, we recommend that all schools take
real action for cyber resilience to protect students and staff. Often,
precious data is sat on individual students’ laptops or desktops as well
as institutional servers, so monitoring of access related to personal
devices and the massive challenge of mis-managed or stolen credentials
can pose real difficulties for IT departments. A holistic cyber
resilience approach which includes proactive security measures, reactive
recovery process as well as good IT-Hygiene discipline, is essential in
defending afainst these targeted attacks.

Staff training is also an important measure when defending against
cyber criminals. The training materials used in these need to be updated
continuously to reflect the latest threat trends, and regular
simulations should be run to ensure that the training has the desired
effect. In summary, educational institutions need to ensure they are not
the low-hanging fruit that makes easy pickings for cybercriminals."___

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