Education

Defending universities against ransomware with cloud backups

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As the back-to-school season rapidly approaches, prepping for cybersecurity threats and particularly ransomware should be at the top of the to-do list for any university IT departments. According to recent research, from 2019 to 2020 the number of ransomware attacks US universities faced increased by 100 percent, with average losses per attack standing at over $450K. ”Aggressive and urgent” action has also been called for by the Biden Administration’s Ransomware Task Force, and across the pond it’s not much better – the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre recently stated that ransomware incidents it handled have tripled in the same period.

Educational institutions are a prime target for ransomware, and it’s no surprise they’re receiving unprecedented levels of attention. The scale of confidential intellectual property universities generate today through research, along with the potential value of student data, is significant enough to make them a big target for malicious actors. With all sorts of collaborators on projects involved today, it can be difficult for IT departments to keep track of internal parties’ access to data, never mind controlling access by external parties. 

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