From education to employment

Trustwave shines light on cybersecurity threats in UK Education

Trustwave (@Trustwave), a leading cybersecurity and managed security services provider, released some comprehensive research uncovering unique cybersecurity threats faced by education institutions. The report, “2024 Education Threat Landscape: Trustwave Threat Intelligence Briefing and Mitigation Strategies”. Explores industry-specific risks and equips cybersecurity leaders in the education sector with actionable insights and strategies to strengthen their defences. 

Primary school systems handle sensitive data concerning minors, while higher education institutions must safeguard intellectual property data, making them prime targets for cyberattacks. These attacks not only threaten the safety and security of teachers and administrators, but they put the privacy of students, staff, and other associated entities at risk. 

Trustwave SpiderLabs’ latest research delves into the attack flow employed by threat groups, shedding light on their tactics, techniques, and procedures. The education sector faces significant cybersecurity risks, ranging from job offer scams targeting students to the critical exposure of networked devices due to vulnerabilities in public-facing applications. 

The Trustwave SpiderLabs report analyses threat groups and their methods throughout the attack cycle, from initial foothold through to exfiltration. A few key findings from the report include: 

  • The threat group LockBit accounted for 30% of ransomware incidents targeting the education sector. 
  • Apache Log4j (CVE-2021-44228) continues to be the most common exploit attempt against educational institutions, accounting for 74% of attempts. 
  • There is significant exposure of critical systems and devices with 1.8M devices related to the education industry being publicly exposed. 

Kory Daniels, CISO for Trustwave, said:

“The education sector faces an incredible challenge in navigating a diverse and fluid attack surface with increasing financial pressures, leaving little room for error as digital leaders aim to sustain resilience to threats,”

“Student, staff, alumni, and professor data each provide different lures and motivators for threat actors to maliciously target the institution, or the individuals affiliated. Our latest threat briefing serves as a vital resource for cyber defenders, equipping them with actionable insights in navigating the latest threats and defences of their students, staff, and data.”   

Related Articles