The education sector is currently being targeted with ransomware attacks and, for some colleges and universities, the impact has been devastating.
Jisc has issued advice over the past few weeks1 to help members protect their systems, and the security team has been working hard to help impacted institutions mitigate and recover from attacks.
As part of an ongoing relationship, Jisc has also been working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to investigate the incidents and backs the release today of its urgent guidance for IT and security staff at schools and further and higher education providers.
This follows a similar NCSC alert issued in September 2020, after a similar spate of ransomware attacks during late summer.
Jisc’s executive director of e-infrastructure, Steve Kennett, urges members to act now, before it’s too late:
“I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is for colleges and universities to heed the advice from Jisc and the NCSC to ensure their systems are patched and up to date.
“The consequences of not doing so will be very serious, including the loss of all key systems. Members that have suffered attacks have found it very difficult to function. Some have been forced to temporarily close their campuses and all will be feeling the financial, logistical and reputational effects for some time to come.
"Like all sectors, the education and research community needs to work constantly to respond to threats and reduce the risks by building strong defences. Right now, that means following the NCSC’s ransomware advice.”
Any Jisc member needing support to prevent cyber security incidents or recover from attacks should contact the Janet Network computer security incident response team (CSIRT) via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 999 2340.
Cyber security guidance will be a key topic on day three of Jisc’s free-to-attend, annual Networkshop event taking place next month (27-29 April).
- 1 Ransomware: are your systems well protected?, 16 March 2021 - Jisc blog by John Chapman: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/ransomware-are-your-systems-well-protected-1...