How much is ransomware costing your school?
Schools lose an average of £1728 for every class effected by ransomware
2017 is shaping up to be the ‘year of ransomware’ with reports of large-scale malware-attacks worldwide regularly making the news headlines. From WannaCry and NotPetya which targeted PCs and laptops to SLock which affected Android mobile devices, criminals are spoilt for choice when it comes to channels for deploying the malware as it can affect any device.
According to a new study from the Ponemon Institute and IBM the average cost for data breaches in the UK education industry is currently £72 per record lost.
The report finds that the high costs are in large part due to the fact that, in education, the time taken to identify and neutralise data breaches is often longer than most other industries.
As education stakeholders continue to grapple with finding ways of cutting costs, improving data security is one of the more obvious and simpler steps to take.
Ransomware – A Recap:
In its simplest form ransomware is malicious software that is installed on your device that encrypts all of your data, making it impossible for you to access your data without an encryption key. Users are then prompted to pay “ransom” to get an encryption key to restore their data using crypto currency Bitcoin.
Ransomware by the numbers
- Average cost for data breaches in the UK education industry is currently £72 per record lost or per head.
- 50% of ransomware-attacks are malicious.
- 28% attributed to human error or employee negligence.
- Overall the average total cost of data breach decreased from £2.53 Million in 2016 to £2.48 million in 2017 in the UK.
The Art of War:
When it comes to security the best offence is a good defence.
Some key ways of being proactive about cybersecurity across all levels of education include:
- Training for staff and students on the importance of strong passwords, as well as recognising illegitimate sites and proper procedures for investigating legitimate looking sites. A common rule of thumb for creating passwords is to never use a word that can be found in a dictionary and always include numbers and symbols.
Checking the URL is the best way to identify a phishing email
- Implementing a policy to be actioned in the event of a ransomware attack. This will include vital steps such as disconnecting the affected machine from the network, assessing damage and restoring back up. Companies like Joskos can play a key role in helping to protect your school against future attacks by deploying software to monitor possible encryption of files and stop it in its tracks
- Regular data back-ups to Cloud systems such as JKloud by Joskos as well as using the 3-2-1 method.
- Updating your schools infrastructure so that an operating third party like Joskos can step in quickly and prevent excessive damage with the help of a dedicated service support team.
While some of these steps may seem overwhelming, Joskos can provide all the resources schools need to help protect them from ransomware and malware-attacks. All our staff receive regular safeguarding training that enables us to provide the most up to date advice and support to schools. Together we can work with your school to provide:
1. Infrastructure updates for better data handling to ensure that the reputational and financial consequences of a potential data breach are mitigated and handled swiftly.
2. Onsite and remote support for schools from our dedicated Service Delivery Team.
3. Network Security Maintenance – Regular checks and updates to ensure you and your school stay ahead of the cyber-attack curve.
4. CPD and training for staff on e-safety as well as safeguarding students in our ever-growing digital world.
5. Class room resources such as this free Network Security Poster for classrooms.
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