Home learning cyber attacks up by 667%

The rapid move to home learning could be a cyber security threat with the risk of ransomware, phishing and other cyber-attacks.
Apr 21, 2020
Be cyber secure at home
Rush to home based learning accompanied by massive rise in cyber attacks

The rapid move to home learning could be a cyber security threat, teachers using their own devices at home and students accessing the network and sharing sensitive data in the form of videos and photos increases the risk of ransomware, phishing and other cyber-attacks.

Michael Warnock, Head of Growth for APAC at SecureAuth and Jacqueline Jayne, Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4 are concerned that not enough is being done to educate families and teachers about the threats that learning online from home might pose.

"The rapid move to online homeschooling has thrown the education system and family life into disarray. Teachers are scrambling to provide content in a new format that is easy for students to access and families are feeling the burden of the increased responsibility,” says Warnock.

"But among that chaos, it's important that security and privacy are not overlooked. The increase of teaching staff working remotely and joining education networks from their personal devices places schools at an increased threat of ransomware, phishing and other cyber-attack.

"It is important for schools and educational organisations to understand their security obligations particularly when keeping student data and content safe. Schools must have the right encryption on the video platforms, controls around access, who is in the video session so you can’t get “zoom boomed”, and secure sharing of records and, of course, making sure the right settings are on for privacy. 

Jacqueline Jayne, Security Awareness Advocate, KnowBe4 says, "With recent reports indicating that in the month of March, coronavirus-related phishing attacks went up 667%, and that every single country around the globe has now been hit with at least one phishing attack related to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to continue educating about the various ways cyber criminals will try to entrap you.  Making better decisions when it comes to security is paramount.

"Hackers don’t care if it is your device or your kid's device.  They are getting SMS phishing (smishing) on their phones, voice phishing (vishing) and yes, a lot of phishing and spam emails just like us.  They are spending more time on their devices so there is more opportunity for them to inadvertently engage with malicious people or links.

"If you are not ‘in the cyber-know’, educate yourself and your kids.  KnowBe4 has a free Home Internet Security Course (the password is homecourse) which is suitable for all family members and if you are working remotely, here is another one for you Internet Security When You Work From Home."