Students blamed for university and college cyber-attacks

You might have seen the news that a security analysis of cyber-attacks against universities and colleges in the UK has discovered staff or students could often be responsible, rather than organised crime or hacking groups. A government-funded agency that provides cyber-security has examined the timing of 850 attacks in 2017-18. Jisc found a “clear pattern” of attacks being concentrated during term times and during the working day. When the holidays begin, “the number of attacks decreases dramatically”.

Following this news, please see below for some thoughts from Dave Aitel, Chief Technology Officer, Security at Cyxtera that you might find useful:

“Generally, a single indicator, like timing of attacks, shouldn’t be the primary attribution method. For example, it’s possible that attacks decrease when students are on vacation because attackers know they won’t be as responsive, so phishing attempts will be less successful.”