Cybersecurity for Education

Cybersecurity for education–who would have thought ten years ago that schools would require cybersecurity services? Over the last ten years, malicious spyware attacks have increased in schools of all sizes. In the summer of 2019, hackers held the Rockville Center School District hostage after they downloaded malicious code and controlled their network. Rockville Center School District ultimately ended up paying $88,000. So, what can you do to help protect your school from attacks like this one? 

  We first need to understand how hackers can gain access to your school’s internal network. They use a wide variety of techniques to infiltrate the system, from as basic as a USB drive to as advanced as creating a backdoor through your network by exploiting its vulnerabilities. One of the easiest ways to gain access to a computer and network is through a computer’s USB port. If you receive a flash drive at a conference, it could have malware on it designed to download itself to your computer as soon as you plug it in.  

  Perhaps one of the most frequently used methods is email phishing. These programmers will create a virus and send it in a link to your computer via email or instant messenger. That link will download the malware directly onto your computer, giving it access to your computer and, ultimately, your network. 

  According to McAfee, a leader in personal computer security software, 10% of all passwords in the world are on the 20 most popular passwords list. Most companies allow their employees to sign on using an online access point; because it’s a public site on the internet, hackers will also have access to it. Hackers will try to obtain the login credentials for someone within the organization to gain access to the network. Hackers will try to trick employees into handing over their login credentials, often by sending an email with a link asking them to reset or confirm their password. Using that link will submit that user’s login information directly to the hackers, allowing them to log in directly into the network.

  When the hackers are inside your system, they are continually scanning for vulnerabilities within your school’s network. Once they find one, they will create a virus that is designed to attack that vulnerable point. This virus will allow them to cripple your school’s infrastructure or walk off with valuable personal information.

  Another vulnerability in many school’s networks is the absence of a secured system. If your institution does not have a password-protected network, hackers can access your entire network by merely sitting in the parking lot. Without much effort on their part, they can have access to lots of critical and sensitive information.

Need help with cybersecurity for education?

If you think you and your school are safe from hackers, think again. According to Armor, more than 1000 schools were victims of ransomware attacks in 2019. What is the best way for you to protect your school from these attacks? Contact VForce today for a free consultation with one of the nation’s foremost cybersecurity experts.