The highly published cyber attack on two schools in Kent this week is a further example of another new sector that hackers clearly regard as a potential source of illicit income. In this particular case, Skinners Kent Academy Trust reports that following a sophisticated attack, hackers had both stolen and encrypted school data. As a result of this attack, the schools were not able to reopen following the June half-term.
The data stolen comprises HR files, staff and student material including medical information whilst the school’s management information system has been encrypted, rendering it inaccessible to staff.
It is inevitably too early to assess the full impact of this attack and as a precautionary measure, parents are being advised to reset all passwords and notify their banks that financial data may have been compromised.
A cyber attack on any organisation is traumatic, frightening and extremely distracting. The education sector is still enduring turmoil and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic and an attack such as this undoubtedly increases the stress and pressures on management, staff, the pupils and their families.
We strongly urge all educational institutions to increase their vigilance at this time and ensure that all staff, pupils and stakeholders are reminder of the need to be cautious when receiving any unsolicited communications. It is so easy to be distracted and inadvertently click on a link or open an attachment that contains malware and once executed, the consequences can be devastating. A combination of human and technical defences can minimise the risk of an attack whilst the creation and implementation of effective incident response plans and policies can prove to be of significant value.
To find out more about how our experts can help prevent cyber attacks and manage incident response Tel: 0247 77 17780
To read the story in full on the BBC visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-57404917