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Technology-Rich Schools Attractive Target of Cyber Attacks

A series of attacks over the course of six weeks brought instruction to a halt at a 4,000-student school district in Avon, Connecticut

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cyber attacks
FILE - The board of education offices in Avon, Conn. is seen in this July 12, 2019 photo. VOA

Cyber attacks on schools are leading to disruptions in instruction in districts that have thoroughly integrated technology.

The FBI says cyber attacks have become common at schools, which are attractive targets because they hold sensitive data and provide critical public services. The agency says perpetrators include criminals motivated by profit, juvenile pranksters and possibly foreign governments.

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The widespread adoption of education technology, which generates data that officials say can make schools more of a target for hackers, also worsens an attack’s effects when instructional tools are rendered useless by internet outages. A series of attacks over the course of six weeks brought instruction to a halt at a 4,000-student school district in Avon, Connecticut. (VOA)

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Email Attacks: IT Professionals Struggle in Spotting Suspicious Emails

Spear phishing is widespread with 43 per cent of organizations being the victim of a spear-phishing attack in the past 12 months

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Cyber crime, U.S. programming
A man types on a computer keyboard in front of displayed cyber code in this illustration picture. VOA

Email attacks like phishing and ransomware are having a major impact on businesses globally, with over three-quarters of organizations saying their employees aren’t good at spotting suspicious emails, a new report has stressed.

Nearly 74 per cent of respondents say email attacks are having a major impact on their businesses while 78 per cent of organizations said the cost of email breaches is increasing, according to the report titled “2019 Email Security Trends” by the US-based cyber security firm Barracuda Networks. Spear phishing is widespread with 43 per cent of organizations being the victim of a spear-phishing attack in the past 12 months.

“While most IT professionals are more confident about their email security systems than they were a year ago, email attacks continue to have a significant impact on businesses,” said the report. The most common effects cited were loss of employee productivity, downtime and business disruption, and damage to the reputation of the IT team.

email attacks
Nearly 74 per cent of respondents say email attacks are having a major impact on their businesses. Pixabay

“Nearly three-quarters of respondents reported experiencing higher stress levels, worrying about potential email security even when they’re not at work, and being forced to work nights and weekends to address email security issues,” the findings showed.

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“Nearly a quarter of respondents advised that attacks have cost their organization $100,000 or more. Ninety-two per cent of Office 365 users have security concerns,” said the report. The report included responses from 660 executives, individual contributors and team managers serving in IT-security roles.

Companies surveyed include small, mid-sized, and enterprise businesses in technology, financial services, education, healthcare, manufacturing, government, telecommunication, retail and other industries. (IANS)