Independent Schools are a Growing Target of Ransomware Attacks

We have seen an increased number of schools suffering from Ransomware Viruses. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents you from accessing your systems by encrypting your data in exchange for money to get access back. Click here to see the National Cyber Security Centre alert sent out in March.

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents you from accessing your system or the data held there, the NCSC explains.

The data is usually encrypted and may be deleted or stolen. Following the initial attack those responsible will “usually send a ransom note demanding payment to recover the data”. Payment is usually requested in the form of crypto currency.

Protect your school

Ensure you have the following in place to best protect your school and avoid falling victim:

    • Strong passwords
    • Use software with Two or Multi Factor Authentication (2FA / MFA)
    • Use the most up to date version of your software
    • Install and enable Antivirus software
    • Implement strategies to prevent phishing and ransomware attacks

It’s also recommended that schools have up-to-date and tested offline backups, so if the network is taken down by a ransomware attack, it can be restored.

Enable effective recovery

Although there are a variety of measures that can be taken, it is not always possible to prevent all attacks. This is why there is such an importance in having a working backup strategy with regular restore testing and a clear disaster recovery process.

In case the worst does happen, there are several things it is important to have in place to mitigate the damage:

      • Take backups frequently and regularly
      • Store backups for as long as possible
      • Have a disaster recovery plan in place
      • Invest in cyber insurance (this is significantly cheaper if your software has 2FA)

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