India’s education and research sectors faced an average of 5,196 attacks per week: Report

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India’s education and research sectors were more vulnerable to cyber-attacks as compared to others in the month of July, with an average of 5,196 attacks weekly per organisation.

This marked a 22 percent increase from the first half of 2021, indicating that schools, universities, and research facilities are more vulnerable than before, according to a report by security research firm Check Point.

The report further added that globally, the education/research sector experienced the highest volume of online attacks, with an average of 1,739 attacks weekly per organisation. This marked a nearly 30 percent increase from the first six months of the year.

Italy’s education sector was most vulnerable after India, witnessing a 70 percent increase from the earlier half of the year. Israel and Australia were the third- and fourth-most targeted countries.

The pandemic prompted a shift to remote working and studying, requiring organisations, schools, and other institutions to adapt and update their infrastructure to suit growing needs. But with this came vulnerability to cyberattacks, and organisations in the education and research sector are finding themselves engaged in a cyber security battle like never before.

In more than half of the countries surveyed, the education/research sector was the most attacked sector in 94 percent of them, including it in the top three most attacked sectors.

Furthermore, the same sector in South Asia region is currently experiencing the highest volume of attacks, followed by East Asia and Australia-New Zealand, the report explained.

“In India, schools, universities, and research centres make for attractive targets to cybercriminals because they are often under-resourced from a security perspective. The short-notice, on-and-off shift to remote learning exacerbates the security risk,” said Sundar Balasubramanian, Managing Director, Check Point, India, and SAARC.

He further added that with so many students logging on from their home networks using their personal devices, the current school season presents a range of new security threats that many aren’t prepared to address.

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