Cyber-attacks against schools continue to be a concern across the Eastern region. The reasons for this are fairly simple.
Schools possess enormous quantities of high value and sensitive data that they may have to pay for to get back.
Schools’ networks and processes offer a lot of vulnerabilities through either underinvestment or weaknesses in their underlying processes. In many cases these vulnerabilities are caused by the necessity of having so many people and devices to attach to the network.
Thousands of schools have been attacked over the past few years and many have resulted in long term problems for the organisations affected, including the staff, students, and parents. Whilst the rise in attacks was blamed partly on the pandemic and a rise in remote learning, the risk to schools will persist until they are provided with the tools to fight back. And these attacks are happening right now in our region. In the summer of 2021, a ransomware attack against schools in Kent actually caused several to close for several days whilst the data breach was resolved. And these cyber-attacks are continuing to affect schools and colleges every day in our region.
The vast majority of crimes committed in the UK currently – at least 80% - are fraud. And almost all are committed as online cybercrimes. But only about 1% of the UK police budget is spent on cyber and fraud.
That means, as a business or any other organisation, if you become a victim of fraud or a cyber-attack, you probably won’t get your money back and the police probably won’t catch the offenders. And in many cases, you will be all alone trying to figure out what to next.
The ECRC takes you out of this dark place and provides real world help and guidance to get you to understand where your vulnerabilities online are and what options you may have to make yourselves more secure. All in all that means you’re less likely to be a victim in the first place and if you do, you will have a clear route out to get your organisation operating again swiftly and efficiently.
What does membership actually give me?
The answer is ‘A lot!’
As most readers will already know the community membership is package is completely free and includes the following
Monthly newsletter with regular threat updates posted onto the website.
Webinars and blogs – sector specific content
Signposting to NCSC tools and services
Little Steps Program to help prepare for Cyber Essentials certification.
Access to Student Services and Trusted Partners
Updates from policing and government and another route into the free services offered by your local police forces.
Free access to Police Cyber Alarm and NCSC Early Warning
Access the content by way of app or website
There is a ton of free cyber stuff available for schools and it changes monthly as some services appear and others are replaced. Membership means you no longer have root around obscure government websites trying to find the latest offers – we do all that hard work for you to make sure that you never miss out on what’s available.
The impact of a successful attack against your website or network can be catastrophic and lead to website downtime, loss of data and permanent loss of reputation. But all is not lost.
Here at the centre, we would recommend that you consider.
Join our community for free . You will be supported through implementing the changes you need to make to protect your organisation.
Take a look at our affordable cyber services – they are carried out by our cadre of trained university undergraduates – and they can help with your important first steps in protecting your educational establishment, saving you time, money and reputation that inevitably follows should you actually become a victim of a cyber-attack.
Reporting a live cyber-attack 24/7
If you are a business, charity or other organisation which is currently suffering a live cyber-attack (in progress), please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Reporting a cyber-attack which isn't ongoing.
Please report online to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You can report cybercrime online at any time using the online reporting tool, which will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened. Action Fraud advisors can also provide the help, support, and advice you need.
Alternatively, you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 (textphone 0300 123 2050).