The education sector is now the number one industry victimized by ransomware attacks.
Some attacks have involved holding student and staff data for ransom – a situation that in 2017 the U.S. Department of Education warned was becoming common even at the K-12 education level.
In other cases, hackers aimed to steal university research. In 2017, cyber-espionage was present in 26% of breaches of higher education organizations, according to the 2017 Verizon Enterprises Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). Though cybercrime may grab more headlines, a nearly equal percent of breaches was caused by simple mistakes made by someone inside the university: human error accounted for 22% of 2017’s breaches in the education sector, according to the DBIR.
As schools and universities are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals, educational organizations face a unique challenge in that their user population is constantly shifting, and has varying degrees of technical proficiency. Can the base principle of a free and open exchange of information be wrangled into better security and privacy awareness education for this at-risk population?
Privacy and Security Awareness In Education
We used the survey that formed te basis of our 2017 State of Privacy and Security Awareness report to gauge the privacy and security awareness of education sector employees. We surveyed 1,011 education employees in the U.S. and compared these results against the broader sample of employed adults in our larger report. Overall, we found that 76% of education sector employees showed at least some lack of preparedness handle common privacy and security threat scenarios that were presented.
Find additional analysis of our education employee survey, including breakdowns of public vs. private school faculty and staff and comparisons to our general population via the infographic below:
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