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|A higher IQ doesn’t necessarily lead to adequate Cyber Security|
Universities have become a hunting ground for the unscrupulous hackers.
Recently the Cobalt Dickins hacking group, which is linked to the Iranian government, was revealed to be behind an attempt to breach the systems of 76 universities in 14 countries. This included a number in the UK in the Times Higher Education Top 50 as well as others across Europe, the US and Asia.
This came just six months after the US Department of Justice charged 9 Iranian hackers with attacking more than 300 universities around the world. This attack succeeded in duping 8,000 academics to respond to a phishing email and saw the group access 15 billion pages of academic projects.
These projects often include cutting-edge research and lucrative intellectual property which is why the further & higher education sector is so attractive to the hackers. They see potential riches – not a surprise when the Economist magazine reports that data is now the world’s most valuable commodity.
In a previous blog post, I examined the importance of helping students understand their role in cyber resilience. However, the thwarted attacks give a stark reminder as to why it is so important for academic and administrative staff to have the right online behaviours. They use technology as an enabler to manage personal information, carry out experiments and collate data. So it has never been more vital to understand about good online behaviours.University staff have to know what their responsibilities are in keeping their institution’s IT system resilient particularly as 90% of cyber breaches are caused by human error. In a recent KPMG/Harvey Nash report education is the worst-affected sector for cybercrime.