The COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible burden on the IT departments of schools around the world. As IT teams have scrambled to provide a way for classrooms to go remote and keep staff connected, schools have found themselves in a vulnerable position, becoming the target of threat actors.
Ransomware attacks are on the rise in the education sector,increasing by 388% in the third quarter of 2020 alone. Some school districts have spent days recovering from a ransomware attack, forcing them to cancel classes and deal with hours of downtime and many have paid a hefty price tag in an attempt to get their data back.
On top of cyber risk, schools have data compliance regulations to meet that make data protection and accessibility essential. From GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulation) to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), schools have a responsibility to ensure their data is protected.
What type of data do school districts need to back up?
Schools have been responsible for student and educator data for years, but since the shift to remote learning, data protection for school districts has become even more imperative. Some examples of data the schools need to back up include:
- Teacher and staff information
- Student and parent information
- Payroll data
- Grade books and lesson plans
- Individual student needs
Why Education Institutions Need to Backup Data
Education is a Lucrative Target for Cyber Attacks
Since education data is largely unprotected and can contain sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and birthdates, it makes it an easy-to-access, lucrative target for cybercriminals. This along with the move by many to Google for Education and other online learning management platforms has heightened the need for better ways to keep data secure and recoverable. The problem is that schools typically don’t have the budget in place to invest in solutions that can help with backup and disaster recovery or the resources to educate staff and students about cybersecurity threats.
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