With hackers causing havoc at a Dorset secondary school, education sector IT managers would be advised to look again at how they back up student and staff files.
Hackers have used ransomware to encrypt files at Sir John Colfox Academy, Bridport, after a member of staff mistakenly opened an email containing a virus. This mistake resulted in the loss of students' GCSE coursework.
The apparently innocent email claimed to be from a colleague at another Dorset school. Not so innocent. The virus infected the school's computer network with coursework from one subject, submitted by Year 11 students, is currently lost.
The BBC reported Dorset Police's cyber-crime unit are investigating the incident and, as yet, the school has not paid out any ransom.
Other schools have sadly been forced to pay such ransom demands. This is the last thing schools need when budgets are so tight. There will be very few schools that will have budgeted for a ransom payment!
Schools needs to take control of this situation by ensuring their student and staff data is securely backed up.
Modern data backup services make a copy of your selected data at a regular time that suits you. This takes a snapshot of your data at that time, so you can restore your data to that moment. At worst, you may lose a day or a few hours, but most of your data will still be retrievable.
This safety net will mean your IT staff will never need to go into a flat spin if hackers unleash a ransomware attack or even if a less dramatic human error causes an issue. They will be confident that they can recover most of the school’s data.
We use Redstor data management solutions to help businesses and other organisations protect their data. The Redstor Backup Service for Schools (RBUSS) currently protects the data of around 12,000 UK schools. It is ideal for highly sensitive, highly regulated school data and enables the simple recovery of all school data, anywhere, any time. It can be quickly deployed quickly as an onsite solution, a fully cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solution or a hybrid of the two.
If your school would like to avoid losing data or becoming a victim of ransomware, please get in touch with me.