A number of Nottinghamshire schools suffered a cyber attack that resulted in the shutdown of their IT systems and hence affecting their online offering for students at home. The incident was reported on Wednesday morning (March 3) through social media channels for a few of the schools and is now being investigated.
<p>It is unfortunate that the Nova Education Trust has been hit by a cyberattack, but just like any other industry, the education sector is prone to cyberattacks. Due to the introduction of remote learning and online schooling more avenues for attacks have opened up within the education system, and malicious actors are taking advantage of this fact. Therefore, although IT security may not be a priority for schools it desperately needs to be due to the current situation.</p> <p> </p> <p>Even though the exact method of the attack is unknown, it still highlights the importance for schools to implement good cyber hygiene. In order to avoid attacks, the best defense is prevention. Updating and patching systems should be a priority for schools and mandatory for their pupils. This is especially necessary with the increase in laptops and other devices being used for remote learning, as the underlying systems for virtualisation that support these devices are often overlooked for various reasons. Security awareness training is also key for preventing cyberattacks as this can teach students and staff how to spot common attack vectors, such as phishing campaigns, as well as increase their understanding of the importance of cybersecurity. By instilling this mindset in students from a young age it will benefit them later in life by providing them with valuable skills necessary for navigating an increasingly digitalised society.</p>