The Role of Cybersecurity in the Education Industry

cybersecurity services

“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.” R. Buckminster Fuller

The above observation is particularly relevant when considering the digital transformation of education.

The transition to digitalization in educational institutions has been a double-edged sword. On the positive side, it has demonstrably transformed how education is delivered, optimizing resource availability and enabling global connectivity.

But it has also made schools more vulnerable to various cybersecurity attacks, endangering student information and educational programs.

Because more and more instruction, learning, and administration take place on digital platforms, there is an urgent need for strong cybersecurity in education.

One of the most effective strategies is engaging with cybersecurity services providers. They conduct security testing on the program that your business is using for data storage, protecting your company’s sensitive information from cyber attacks and data breaches.

Before getting into how you can prevent cyber attacks, let’s look at what cyber attacks are and how they have impacted the education sectors around the world.

What are Cyber Attacks?

A cyber attack refers to any deliberate attempt to illicitly access a network, computer system, or digital device with the intention of stealing, exposing, altering, disabling, or destroying data, applications, or other assets.

Cyber Attacks In Educational Institutes: Stats

According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, the educational services industry reported 1,241 incidents in 2021, with 282 resulting in confirmed data leakage. 

75% of those attacks came from outsiders, with the rest coming from within. The attacks were almost entirely driven by rewards in money, with 95% involving an economic purpose.

Ransomware has become especially costly for educational organizations, with institutions of all sizes around the world experiencing ransomware attacks of various severity and cost. 

These attacks frequently result in class cancellations, significant cleanup costs, reputational damage, and unanswered issues about an institution’s ability to repel future attacks.

Top Attacks on Educational Institutes

Educational institutes have been targeted many times in history. Here are some mentioned that have cost a big loss to the institutes.

Institute NameAttack Information
Final Site: Glastonbury, ConnecticutCyber attack type: NetWalker ransomware Cost: $1.14 million 
Michigan State UniversityCyber Attack Type: Ransomware Cost: Not disclosed People affected: 5,000 educational institutes
FinalSite: Glastonbury, ConnecticutUniversity of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School

Why Do Cyber Predators Attack Educational Institutes?

Educational institutes can tend to have weaker security systems for their data, giving easier access to hackers.

Vast amounts of data on their systems is also attractive for the hackers as they can get a sea of information from it. This gives them a chance to make money by blackmailing authorities for their data. 

Here are some detailed reasons why educational institutes are a prime target for cyber attacks.

Personal Information of Enrolled Students

Every educational organization, from local institutes to internationally recognized higher education institutions, collects data on the students who are enrolled there. This data may contain personally identifying information, such as:

  • Full names
  • Street addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Credit card details
  • Social Security numbers
  • Student Loan information

The larger an organization, the more data it is likely to keep. Unfortunately, from the privacy aspect, a larger business is more likely to face organizational and security issues, as well as significant amounts of student data.

This means that hackers are aware of where they can discover big volumes of private data and where it is likely to be easily accessible.

Weak Security System

The educational sector is one of the slowest adopters of current cybersecurity solutions, mostly due to a lack of funding. This barrier often results in the use of obsolete technology and insufficient funds to invest in cybersecurity solutions, especially as institutions continue to grow in size.

Public schools rely on government support, which can lead to financial constraints and, as a result, cybersecurity is frequently understated against staff pay, school supplies, and infrastructure improvements.

This has been found to be especially harmful to educational institutions, since hackers frequently target schools with the least resources as they typically have weak cyber defenses.

Valuable Research Data

Universities frequently conduct valuable research, and this intellectual property, or IP, can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

While university researchers may value the prestige of developing procedures and producing discoveries, failing to consider cybersecurity to protect their research might leave it exposed to data leaks and breaches.

Cyber criminals with network access can steal IP addresses and sell them to some other party. Alternatively, they may encode the material as a part of a ransomware attack, intending to upload or destroy it unless the institution pays.

Why is it Necessary to Have a Stronger Security System for Educational Institutes?

In digital classrooms, student information systems, and online assessments, the importance of maintaining strong cybersecurity measures cannot be overstated. Schools store a wealth of sensitive information, from student data to financial records, making them prime targets for cyber attacks. 

The consequences of a breach can be severe, resulting not only in financial losses but also in the breakdown of trust between institutions and their communities.

Against this backdrop, there is a resounding call for heightened cybersecurity awareness in the education sector. 

This call demands a proactive approach to safeguarding digital assets, incorporating advanced technological solutions and fostering a cybersecurity-conscious culture among students, faculty, and staff.

Securing schools’ cybersecurity is not just about protecting data; it is about upholding the integrity of education itself.

Thus, cybersecurity consulting services are a crucial step that should be taken by educational institutes worldwide.

Approach To Have Stronger Cybersecurity

Basic approaches like giving awareness to institutes are not enough in this advanced era. Predators have unpredictable ways to attack the institute’s valuable information.

Cybersecurity testing is one of the best approaches for making sure that you have a strong online platform and cannot be hacked by any clever predator.

What is Cybersecurity Testing?

Cybersecurity Testing is a critical component of software testing that identifies and addresses security vulnerabilities in software applications or a network. 

It seeks to protect its software against hostile assaults, unauthorized usage, and data breaches.

Cybersecurity testing ensures software meets security standards. It analyzes security features and methods.

It also performs penetration tests to detect flaws and vulnerabilities. The goal is to identify security issues. Recommendations for remediation are then made to enhance the software’s overall security.

Testers replicate attacks to validate existing security systems and identify new weaknesses.

Why is Cybersecurity Testing Necessary?

Cybersecurity Testing is more than just breaking into a network or website; it is also about detecting vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit. It can be performed manually or using automated security testing technologies.

Cybersecurity testing is based on identifying potential security threats in the system. It is a method that assesses the system’s security by running both positive and negative tests to identify potential security concerns.

Security testing’s primary purpose is to discover risks in the system and assess potential vulnerabilities. This enables the organization to confront threats while ensuring the system remains operational and make sure nobody can exploit.

Benefits of Cybersecurity Testing

A vulnerability assessment offers several key benefits. This confirms the effectiveness of current security measures, including system updates and upgrades. Moreover, it assigns a measurable value to the risk posed by potential breaches to internal systems and sensitive data.

Vulnerability testing also provides thorough procedures for identifying existing problems and preventing future threats. 

Testing can also help strengthen your organization’s reputation and goodwill, instilling greater confidence in clients.

In the event that harmful code is disguised within assets, a vulnerability assessment can also help protect their integrity. Vulnerability testing also assists in achieving and maintaining compliance with any applicable federal and international security standards.

Aside from a large-scale data breach, failing to do vulnerability testing could result in financial loss. 

Data breaches frequently result in costly lawsuits (with multimillion-dollar settlements) and other comparable legal implications.

Top managed cybersecurity services can help you achieve a tight security system and can reduce the chances of cyber attacks.


Educational institutes have weak security systems which makes them a go-to option to attack predators. 

Ne ultra plus is a comprehensive system that includes student, teacher, tax, and salary information.

Hackers exploit sensitive information, causing companies to lose millions of dollars by stealing all their data.

To ensure that your company is safeguarded by a strong system that is not vulnerable to attacks, it is crucial to turn to a trusted partner for cybersecurity testing.