“If they find a particular sector is particularly profitable, they will hit it again and again,” Mr Callow said. Schools should take precautions, such as implementing multi-factor authentication and promptly installing security updates, he said.
Last year, 1,043 schools in the United States fell victim to ransomware attacks, according to an analysis by Emsisoft. Of these, 26 were colleges or universities.
Henry Stoever, president and CEO of the Association of Boards of Trustees of Universities and Colleges, said the technology “touches almost every aspect of the university enterprise”, including financial and health information for students. and faculty, and donor data. The loss of this data can be devastating, he added.
Austin Berglas, global head of professional services at BlueVoyant, a New York-based cyber defense firm, said the average cost of a ransomware attack targeting a college or university is around $115,000, a low figure by compared to other sectors. Colonial Pipeline, the operator of a critical fuel pipeline on the East Coast, paid $5 million to recover data that was stolen in a ransomware attack last year.
The decision to pay depends on factors including whether the targeted institution detected and stopped the breach in time, Berglas said.
A November 2020 attack on public schools in Baltimore County in Maryland forced the system to shut down for three days and erased data, including grades and lesson plans. The cost of repairing the damage caused by the attack was close to $10 million in November, according to NPR WYPR subsidiary. The district did not say what the demands were or if the ransom had been paid.
Some victims, like Florida’s Broward County Public School District, the sixth largest in the nation, have publicly refused to pay. In March 2021, hackers demanded $40 million to stop them from leaking sensitive data, including financial contracts and social security numbers. A month later, cybercriminals uploaded around 26,000 files, according to The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Lincoln College in Illinois to close, hurt by Covid and ransomware attack
Source link Lincoln College in Illinois to close, hurt by Covid and ransomware attack