Phishing Attacks Are On The Rise For Educational Institutions

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phishing alert

Educators have become more reliant than ever on email to send and receive information. As students continue remote learning during the pandemic, spear-phishing attacks are on the rise. Spear-phishing is a personalized phishing attack that targets a specific organization. This has students and teachers facing immense challenges as attackers are exploiting the need for schools and universities to receive critical updates. In fact, cyber-criminals increasingly used the topic of COVID in their headings as a lure for these phishing attacks.

Researchers for Barracuda found that more than 1,000 educational institutions, such as schools, colleges and universities, have been targeted by over 3.5 million spear-phishing attacks between June and September 2020. While the number of attacks dropped by 10-14 percent during July and August, the number substantially picked up in September. The researchers also highlighted two more common types of attacks against schools between July and September: email scams and service impersonation.

Information of students, teachers and administrators, such as date of birth, home address, contact number, Social Security Number and bank account number are collected by educational institutes; this is why hackers target the nation’s schools. Using these common forms of attack, cybercriminals have taken hold of the education sector, resulting in devastating losses.

Prevent This From Happening To YOU!

To protect your school or university from these types of phishing attacks, Barracuda offers the following tips:

  • Invest in security protection against targeted phishing attacks.
  • Get account takeover protection and invest in technology that will allow you to identify suspicious activity
  • Improve security awareness education for users
  • Set up internal policies to prevent wire transfer fraud

Click here to read the “Threat Spotlight: Spear-phishing attacks targeting education sector.

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