Apricorn, a manufacturer of hardware-encrypted USB drives, recently reported on the findings from its 2021 Global IT Security Survey, which highlighted that the education industry has a significantly increased risk for cybersecurity attacks than other industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare, and financial services. It was noted that this is somewhat as a result of a combination of limited IT security policies and a lack of concern about security threats from employees, but also recognized that educational institutions compile a treasure trove of personal data, including student health information, social security numbers, and payment information, all of which provide high rewards to hackers.
Furthermore, as many Americans are starting to come around to the notion that they need to be attentive to securing their data and monitoring their credit activity for suspect activity that may suggest that their data and identifies have been compromised, the same diligence is lacking when it comes to doing the same for children. As a result, a data breach involving a minor is more likely to go undetected for a longer period of time than an attack involving the data of adults who may more quickly come to realize that a bank account has been opened in their name.
As a result, it is becoming critical that educational institutions focus on their cyber weaknesses, which (at least for public institutions) will put stress on taxpayers to fund additional amounts to shore up school IT systems from ever increasing risks.
Nixon Peabody’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Team will continue to monitor developments.
Apricon’s full survey report is available at Apricorn.com.