Schools are facing more cyberattacks than ever before

Cyberattacks against schools have increased dramatically and this year has already seen almost as many incidents as the previous two years combined, according to Barracuda which analyzed data compiled by the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center (k-12 CRC) which has been tracking reported attacks against schools since 2016.

So far in 2019, there have been 301 attacks against schools compared to 124 in 2018 and 218 in 2017. However, these figures only account for reported cases and it is highly likely that additional cases either went unreported or even undetected as stealthy malware is used to steal information, participate in botnets or mine cryptocurrency.

In a recently published report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), it was revealed that 83 percent of 430 schools across the UK had experienced at least one cybersecurity incident even though 98 percent of schools used antivirus software and 99 percent had some sort of firewall protection.

By using a single source of open threat intelligence data a list of all known websites belonging to US and UK schools, researchers from Barracuda found 234 unique malware samples that tried to connect to school domain names. The firm also found 123 IP addresses with the same set of schools that had a negative reputation which could point to additional malicious activity.

Cyberattacks against schools

Barracuda’s research found that data breaches (31%), malware (23%), phishing (13%), network or school infrastructure hacks (10%)…