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Cyberattacks see 114% increase in last two years on education sector before back-to-school

Cyberattacks see 114% increase in last two years on education sector before back-to-school

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With back-to-school around the corner, Check Point Research (CPR) sees the highest volume of cyberattacks on the education and research sector. Hackers sent the most cyberattacks on the education and research sector every month in 2022 and in 2021, marking a 114% increase these past two years. The shift to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the attack surface and widened the door for hackers to infiltrate school networks. In the month of July, weekly cyberattacks by hackers on education and research organisations are double the number compared to other industries’ average.

CPR is sharing new data on the trend by region and country. 

  • Latin America saw a 62% increase in cyberattacks in July 2022
  • Brazil, France and Mexico were the countries that saw the highest increases in cyberattacks 
  • CPR issues over a dozen cyber safety tips for students, parents and schools 

Check Point Research (CPR) is seeing the largest volume of cyberattacks on the education and research sector, compared to all other industries. 

Key numbers: 

  • Education/research sector experienced the highest volumes of attacks every month in 2022 and in 2021 worldwide
  • In July 2022, the education/research sector shows more than double the number of weekly cyberattacks compared to the other industries’ average
  • Education and research still leads as the most targeted industry, with an average of 2,297 attacks against organisations every week in the 1H of 2022, showing a 44% increase compared to the 1H of 2021

Most attacked regions

  1. ANZ 4,176 attacks per organisation every week (7% decrease compared to July 2022)
  2. Asia 4,171 attacks (5% increase)
  3. Europe 1,861 attacks (6% decrease)
  4. Latin America 62% increase compared to July 2021

Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point, commented on the findings: “Students, parents and schools are tempting targets for hackers, mainly because of data – there’s lots of it. From gradebooks to online assignments, hackers have far more access points to sensitive information and data. Data is leverage for hackers and can be used to orchestrate ransomware attacks. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a big shift to remote learning. However, the shift to remote learning has increased the potential attack surface of hackers significantly. In other words, the door is much wider for hackers to infiltrate school computer networks. All it takes is for one teacher, student, or parent to click on a phishing email created by a cybercriminal and a ransomware attack could be underway. Education and research is by far the most attacked industry sector, seeing a 114% increase in the past two years. With back-to-school right around the corner, we are urging students, parents and schools to exercise the highest level of cybersecurity practices; cover your webcams when not in use, talk to your kids about phishing and vet third-party applications and more.”

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