Cybersecurity incidents targeting schools and districts have grown exponentially over the last few years and show no signs of stopping. And cyberattacks – especially phishing attacks – on schools have never been higher. Phishing has become one of the most successful types of cyberattacks because it plays on people’s emotions, compelling them to act without thinking.
Cyberattacks Cost Schools Time and Money
Every school district is feeling pressured to improve protection of student data, to train employees and staff to recognize threats, and to prevent cyberattacks before they happen. The cost to districts in terms of time and money is significant. Yet, the cost of inaction is even more so: Schools may be closed for days or weeks; regaining access to data may cost thousands of dollars or more in ransom, and the risk exists that personal data of students and teachers may still be leaked on the dark web. These threats are not something to be taken lightly.
Take Action Now and Protect Your School’s Data
Hackers don’t take a break over the holidays, even though schools do. In fact, cyber criminals typically step up their efforts when they think people are distracted and paying little attention to the insidious methods used to access school networks. Here are some steps you should take to be more cybersecure as you learn more about protecting student data.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Hackers achieve the most success when all they have to do is crack a password. Let’s face it: We all reuse passwords, use passwords that are easy to break, and store passwords in our browsers. But if having a password isn’t enough to allow hackers network access because they still need a six-digit code that was sent to a phone, or a code from an authenticator app that has to be accessed from a separate device, then they are stopped in their tracks. Requiring MFA can nearly eliminate the risk of successful phishing attempts.
The single most important effort you can make to protect student data is to provide your staff with ongoing training. The more your staff know about recognizing phishing emails, and the more they are empowered to take action – or not –in response to an email request (whether it’s clicking on a link or providing secure data), the more they can become a frontline defense against phishing.
Let Lumen™ Touch Help Secure Your School
In order to know where you need to make improvements to your cybersecurity strategy, you need to know where your weaknesses are. That’s why Lumen Touch is offering a security audit service for schools: Bright LITE™.
Our customized service offering provides individuals and organizations with the information and education necessary to efficiently evaluate both the risks and opportunities they face. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your audit.