Ransomware attacks against schools could rise


Federal agencies warned ransomware attacks against schools may increase this school year, in a joint cybersecurity advisory issued Tuesday.

Attacks may increase as the school year begins “and criminal ransomware groups perceive opportunities for successful attacks,” said the advisory issued by the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

“School districts with limited cybersecurity capabilities and constrained resources are often the most vulnerable; however, the opportunistic targeting often seen with cyber criminals can still put school districts with robust cybersecurity programs at risk,” the advisory warns.

“K-12 institutions may be seen as particularly lucrative targets due to the amount for sensitive student data accessible through school systems or their managed service providers,” it said.

The agency recommends mitigating actions including encrypted backups, a review of third-party vendors’ security, a recovery plan and multifactor authentication, among other measures.

 

 

 



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