Ransomware threats have been building for several years. With the barrier to entry lowered considerably thanks to “as-a-service” affiliate programmes, threat groups have thrived. Along with healthcare, the education sector was hard hit during the height of the pandemic, particularly in the UK. Unfortunately, the risks are no less acute in 2021: the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has recently issued a new alert warning of a surge in attacks on schools, colleges and universities.
From speaking with customers in the education sector, we understand that the lack of centralised visibility and management across hybrid environments and systems has put a strain on resource to manage the disparate systems / consoles by multiple vendors, but more importantly that this has created a risk of threats been missed or a delay in seeing them until too late. We also understand that 3rd party Research which brings in much needed revenue to Higher education customers, is an areas that most concerns them from the threat of ransomware.
In this first of a mini blog series on ransomware in the education sector, we take a look at the scale of the threat, and where resources should be best directed to mitigate it.
Ireland’s healthcare system has been the recent subject of an unprecedented cyber attack, called out by the Irish government as “possibly the most significant cybercrime attack on the Irish state”. This has led to IT systems being taken offline and the cancellation of a number of hospital appointments.
Over the past few days, one story in the US has threatened to overshadow even the race for the White House. A set of apparently coordinated ransomware attacks reportedly hit hundreds of hospitals, medical facilities and clinics. Although no warnings have thus far been issued by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) or NHS Digital, UK hospitals should be alert to the malicious campaign potentially spreading their way, and of other attackers targeting medical facilities already stretched to the limit with the fight against COVID-19.
The good news is that by detecting the early warning signs including the presence of TrickBot and/or Emotet Trojans, healthcare organisations (HCOs) can mitigate the threat before it has a chance to make a major impact.
The UK is facing a bigger threat from cyberspace now than ever before: that was the message from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) this week as it launched its first major report into the threat landscape. Produced in association with the National Crime Agency (NCA), it also featured input from Trend Micro. We’re pleased to be working side-by-side with law enforcement and government to help protect citizens and organisations — because only with collaboration across sectors can we offer truly effective threat defence against cybercrime and nation state hacking. Continue reading →