As criminals learn just how lucrative cyber attacks can be, threats to
cybersecurity are only poised to increase even greater in the future.
According to a report by IT research firm Cybersecurity Ventures, the
global damage from cyber attacks is projected to grow from $450 billion
in 2016 to a staggering $6 billion in 2021.

Schools and universities have already been subject to some of the most
devastating cyber attacks, like the 2010 data breach at Ohio State
University that exposed 760,000 records and cost $4 million for the
school to remediate. Even otherwise unremarkable school districts such
as Flathead County in Montana are increasingly becoming the subject of
menacing cyber attacks that threaten to release private student records.

The Risks Posed by Cyber Crime

Unfortunately, far too many educational institutions still aren't doing
enough to protect themselves against the dangers of cyber attacks,
including:

Data Breaches

Schools collect a lot of data about their students, including
biographical information such as names, birthdates, and addresses and
educational information like grades and standardized test scores.
Perhaps the most sensitive of this data, however, is financial
information such as Social Security numbers, tax forms and financial aid
declarations. In the event of a data breach, all of this information is
potentially exposed to the attackers and may be used to steal the
victims' identities.

Ransomware

One of the most worrying trends in cyber security for schools and
universities is the spread of "ransomware," or applications that lock
down a computer until the user pays a fee to regain access to their
files. Ransomware that spreads throughout a network, or infects even
just a few key computers, can shut down the operations of an entire
organization. For example, the Swedesboro-Woolwich school district in
New Jersey fell victim to a ransomware attack in 2015 that locked down
the entire network, holding the files ransom for more than $125,000 and
interrupting state-mandated testing.

Information Theft

As centers of research and learning, schools and universities play host
to vast quantities of information, including sensitive data such as
patents, trade secrets and intellectual property. Much of this research
is therefore vulnerable to theft either by insiders or by foreign
governments.

Key Statistics

  • The K-12 Cyber Incident Map, which collects data about cyber attacks
    at U.S. schools, shows that there were already 74 incidents reported
    during the first five months of 2017. At this pace, the number of
    cyber attacks in 2017 will be more than double the 67 incidents
    reported during 2016.
  • According to a survey by cloud computing company VMware, one in
    three universities in the United Kingdom are the target of an
    attempted cyber attack on an hourly basis. What's more, 43 percent
    of respondents reported that exam results had been taken as the
    result of a data breach.
  • 45 percent of Americans "don't know" whether their child's school is
    adequately prepared to protect students' personal information
    and privacy.

How Todyl Can Help

Schools estimate that a cyber attack will cost them an average of
$200,000, which means that suffering such an incident is something that
too many schools can't afford. Not only do schools have to spend money
fixing the issue immediately, they also suffer damage to their
reputation and may have to pay damages to the attack's victims.

Todyl is the first IT security solution that's been designed
specifically for the needs and objectives of small businesses and
organizations like school districts, many of whom lack the expertise to
protect themselves against cyber attacks. Todyl can be set up by even
the most non-technical users, and its pay-as-you-go model makes it the
perfect choice for organizations getting started on their cybersecurity
journey.

Todyl is unique as it delivers the full spectrum of security small businesses and
organizations like school districts need but were previously unable to afford: protection, detection, response, and recovery.

A strong cyber defense consists of multiple layers of protection (we call this defense-in-depth). Historically, only large companies could afford the expensive hardware and industry experts associated with this type of protection. Todyl has moved the capabilities of expensive security hardware into the cloud, giving small businesses access to the protection they need, at a cost they can afford.

Our cybersecurity experts keep an eye on your network and devices so you can focus on bringing in more clients and expanding your business.

We’re letting customers try our service free for 15 days, with an ongoing discount for new customers - or schedule a call with a Todyl Security Expert if you have any questions.

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