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Cybercrime is constantly jeopardising data security, and more recently one can definitely distinguish certain trends occurring. A sure way to discern a trend in cybercrime is to take a closer look at the victims targeted, by ransomware specifically. We do not in any way condone or support ransomware attacks, but there are a few things that we can observe from them with regards to their (rather sophisticated) business model.
Ransomware professionals do their research.
It’s no longer a “cast a wide net and see what we catch” approach; ransomware targets specifics industries for specific reasons. The big hype about ransomware’s threat to data security and awareness campaigns appearing everywhere encouraging people to be vigilant is as a result of ransomware’s “success rate”.
In a previous post we discussed why ransomware targets healthcare facilities. In this post we will discuss the prevalence of ransomware attacks on educational institutions, specifically schools.
Ransomware professionals have discovered (assuming through market research) that schools would be an easy target to deploy ransomware successfully and ensure the ransom is paid. Schools have two things they need to succeed: a very concentrated dependence on their data to function on an operational level and a weak (technological) immune system. So here’s why they get targeted:
Even though no one could have predicted that schools would be targeted so severely by ransomware, it is not really a negative reflection on schools or their systems. We’ve established by now that ransomware is a criminal activity, and no matter what you do to ensure data security, if they want in, they will get in.
The best advice that schools can take to heart in light of this susceptibility to ransomware is:
Invest in setting up a disaster recovery plan and devote your resources to using a comprehensive data backup service provider, preferably one that will ensure that data recovery can happen with the least amount of downtime.