Impact of Cybercrime on Education Industry

March 5, 2019

Education Cybersecurity Weekly is a curated weekly news overview for those who are concerned about the Education industry. It provides brief summaries and links to articles and news across a spectrum of cybersecurity and tech development topics that are specific to the industry.

Last week Columbia State Community College became a victim of a cyberattack. The fact that is hard to overlook – universities tend to have more open cybersecurity culture than government or financial institutions.

Cyberattack disabled Tennessee college for two days

EdScoop on February 27, 2019


Last week Columbia State Community College became a victim of a cyberattack. The impact of cybercrime is imposing – the campuses in Columbia, Franklin, Lewisburg, Lawrence, and Clifton suspended classes for two days. The malware was identified as a banking Trojan “Emotet” that, according to security experts, is “among the most costly and destructive malware affecting state, local, tribal, and territorial governments”.

Actually, the college’s network shut down was a successful phishing attempt. An employee opened an infected email and afterwards malware spread to the college’s communications system, including the computer network and connected devices. Students were notified about the incident via an email.

Fortunately, no data was compromised. Although students returned to classes on Wednesday, Feb.27, the campus Wi-Fi and some devices were inaccessible till the end of the week. Indeed, phishing is not the only hackers’ tool in targeting universities’ network systems but one of the most effective.

Zero Trust model pretends to be a cybersecurity solution for Higher Ed

EdTech Magazine on March 1, 2019

The fact that is hard to overlook – universities tend to have more open cybersecurity culture than government or financial institutions. Malefactors, targeting universities, may have a range of purposes from exfiltration of intellectual property to ransomware attacks and phishing campaigns.

A highly transitory environment allows attackers to easily get access to the database. Therefore, both IT teams of educational organizations and security experts must be interested in building strong cybersecurity strategy and implementing effective tools, protecting the data of current and former students.

Zero Trust model of network protection pretends to be one of these tools. In this model, access to an application is granted based on the identity of the user. It creates a least-privilege mapping of the application that a user absolutely requires to complete their job, and nothing more.

Sounds easy but reliable. What do you think?

Cryptojacking strikes education sector

Campus Technology on February 26, 2019

In November we mentioned a peculiar incident: The University of Michigan warned its students to stay away from mining cryptocurrency, calling it a violation of university policy and comparing the activity with theft.

Well, the concern of the university administration was reasonable. According to the recent Cisco report, in the last year unauthorized cryptomining activity rose 19 times, increasing from 600,000 queries in March to 11.3 million by December. What is noteworthy, colleges experienced 22% of all cryptomining attempts and 4% of the incidents happened in K-12 sector.

In the case of cryptojacking attacks, organizations deal with the tangible impact of cybercrime – degraded performance, higher usage of electricity, in addition to possible problems with security regulations compliance. Thus, to minimize potential risks IT teams should pay attention to the users’ cybersecurity awareness and initiate integration of computer ethics into the Computer Science curriculum.

Bobby the Fish

Last week we introduced you our cybersecurity helper – Bobby the Fish, to show ins and outs of data security in education. Today it would make a comment on the phishing attacks nature.

Fish morning, ladies and gentlemen. A dog goes “woof”, a cat goes “meow”, IT pro’s fish goes “your password was reset”.

Ha-ha! I’ve read this joke in the newspaper that my man Anthony left on the table. The headline was terrifying – something about phishing. Fortunately, I’m safe here in my aquarium.

My granddaddy Fred always taught me – don’t fall for the bait! Otherwise, it would be the last worm in your life. My man Anthony says, sometimes the impact of cybercrime is much more significant, than it seems to be. I’m not sure humans love worms but Fred’s advice is really helpful.

Ooh, again my man is beating the keyboard by his fins! I have to swim!

Bobby the Fish

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Admins (45) Audit (24) Cryptojacking (11) Defense (72) Education organization (69) Error (26) Higher Ed (57) Human error (20) Incident response (21) K-12 (51) Phishing (22) Ransomware (16) Team (46) Threats (72)