Why Is Education Under Attack?
Higher education is uniquely vulnerable to cyberattacks. In part, that is because colleges and universities are high-value targets. Universities conduct valuable research and have extensive databases of personal information, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals and state-sponsored actors. They are also highly vulnerable to disruption; a data breach leaves universities open to loss of valuable IP, reputational damage and regulatory repercussions. Malicious actors can also shut down university operations, leading to lost educational opportunities for students, frustration for faculty and staff, and substantial financial losses. Perhaps this is why nearly 75% of ransomware attacks on higher education institutions succeed.
But there are a host of other factors that create unique cybersecurity challenges for education.