Home Schooling

It’s time to modernize school networks and rethink their security

Educational organizations are being forced to transform quickly as a result of the pandemic, and cybercriminals have taken advantage of this. A secure network infrastructure could be the solution.

The pandemic has forced many sectors to change the way they work, and educational organizations are no exception. Cybercriminals have taken advantage of this rapid forced transformation to specifically target this sector. Security applied to the entire infrastructure used to be considered a “just in case” benefit… Now it’s an absolute necessity.

Like hospitals, banks and financial platforms, educational institutions also face the problem of cyber attacks.

The difficult transition to homeschooling during the various lockdowns has given cybercriminals the opportunity to carry out targeted attacks. According to research by Check Point, the education sector experienced the highest volume of cyberattacks in 2021, with around 1,605 attacks per organization each week – a 75% increase from 2020. Combating Information Technology Crime (OCLCCTIC) has revealed that CNED – a public distance education operator – would fall victim to a Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in 2021.

In such a context, it is important that decision makers in the education sector review their cyber security strategy and take the necessary measures to create a safer and better designed cyber environment for young people.

Secure network infrastructure to protect the educational environment

The pandemic and global conflicts create a chaotic context. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this, and organizations in the education sector must act quickly to implement strategies and technologies to protect their students and staff and maintain a secure and uninterrupted learning environment.

The first step is to create a strong base security layer. One of the first approaches concerns DDI solutions (DNS, DHCP and IPAM). These solutions reveal previously undetectable network activity and enable educational institutions to regain control of their environment by closing the visibility gap that other tools cannot address and extending security from the core, from the network to the edge.

Going back to the example of the DDoS attack targeting CNED in 2021, it underscores the importance of DDI solutions, especially solutions securing DNS – the first D DDI. A DDoS attack can be carried out using a variety of techniques, including DNS attacks, and in particular DNS flooding or DNS amplification. These attacks represent one of the most costly cyber threats to control because they directly affect the availability of business-critical services.

In addition, all 90% of malware hits the DNS when entering or leaving the network. This makes DNS an essential detection tool that can detect threats at an early stage and identify compromised computers. Thus, DDI enables IT teams in public sector organizations to quickly discover and remediate vulnerabilities, regardless of their origin.

Become a safety-focused learning environment

While many educational organizations have traditionally viewed cybersecurity as a necessity, it is quickly becoming an absolute necessity. With the advent of hybrid infrastructures, new borderless IT environments require a robust approach to security. Security strategies should be integrated into any network architecture and every project. The maintenance of IT infrastructure in many educational institutions is still carried out by limited staff and resources. So building a team that can provide end-to-end security can take a lot of work. This is where network modernization comes in, helping organizations gain better visibility into their security infrastructure.

According to an analysis by the statistical service of the Ministry of the Interior, between 2016 and 2020 in France, 20% of legal entities that are victims of ransomware attacks are part of the education sector, as well as public administration, health, human and social activities. . Educational organizations still have a long way to go to meet the challenges posed by cyber security.

No organization is immune, and as school computer networks now extend far beyond campus, cyber security must adapt.

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