Malicious emails are on the increase. Independent schools are a prime target for email attacks; a surprising number are unprepared and inadequately protected. Some Heads and school leaders, although ultimately responsible, have no idea if or how their school is protected from something as simple as a user innocently clicking on a link in an email that opens the door to cyber criminals.
Cyber criminals aim to make money. They are ruthless and unrelenting, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to exploit others. They will target schools and their staff, parents and even individual pupils. They target email systems, resulting in data theft, ransomware, phishing and whaling. Fraudsters from across the world view UK independent schools and the families able to fund private education as high-value and lucrative victims.
How vulnerable is your email system to attack?
Given that today, 90% of email traffic features a wide range of increasingly sophisticated and convincing electronic threats, the need for improved email security has never been greater. It is all too easy to be tricked into clicking a link or opening an attachment that will instantly open the door to hackers.
Microsoft Office 365 based email systems, used by most independent schools, have become a primary target – as the basic security features included are just that – basic. It is simply not good enough and fraudsters exploit this 24 hours a day.
The impact of an email related cyber-incident
A cyber-attack will have a significant impact on a school, creating serious disruption that will be time consuming and costly to tackle, requiring a level of technical expertise that schools might not have. Some ransom demands are for many thousands of pounds, with no guarantees that the school data files will be unlocked if the ransom is paid.
A school’s reputation can be seriously affected when negative press stories hit the headlines. This can also lead to extensive ICO investigations if personal data is accessed by hackers and substantial fines are a possibility.
Many schools take out ‘cyber-insurance’ to protect them from the costs of a cyber breach – although this is well worth having, it should be secondary to adopting a thorough, preventive approach with the best available cyber security systems and staff training.
Protect your school – Best practices for email security for independent schools and colleges
There are very effective systems that will protect your school from email-based security threats. From running an email security test, adopting enhanced cloud protection, to tighter email security polices, we have identified 5 best practices to safeguard your school. Click to learn more.
Advanced email security for independent schools and colleges
RivaNET’s chosen email security system is used extensively in businesses and financial institutions and has become the leading system for independent schools. The award-winning technology is a cost effective, hosted solution designed to keep your school secure and safeguard your inbound and outbound emails. Discover more here and get your school protected in a little as 15 minutes.