Ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest cyber threats facing organizations in every sector, and education is no exception. According to Armor, more than 1,000 schools were impacted by ransomware attacks in 2019, which doesn’t just put student data at risk – it also has the potential to impact learning.
What’s more, schools have had to abruptly transition to remote learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s been no small task to get the necessary technology for successful remote learning up and running. School districts’ IT teams are stretched thin, so they have limited resources to dedicate to network defense, increasing the risk of a cyberattack. Add that to the creation of many new attack vectors as students and teachers log on to their school-issued devices at home, and you’ve got a recipe for a cyber-disaster on your hands.
Even the FBI has started warning schools about the increased risk for cyberattacks due to remote learning; school districts are now more likely to pay up to minimize disruption of learning for their students, making them prime targets for ransomware.