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Webinar on ransomware threats to education sector attracts record number of attendees

A recent webinar hosted by Redstor and the Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East (SECRC) on cyber security in the education sector attracted a record number of attendees!

Unfortunately, schools and higher education institutes are increasingly common targets for cyber scams and ransomware attacks. The session - led by Ed Renwick, Senior Partner Account Manager at Redstor - aimed to raise awareness of how to deal with and prevent cyber attacks for educational institutes, with a first-hand account from a school IT Director on how they handled a recent ransomware attack.

The webinar also featured two guest speakers from policing; Chris White, Head of Cyber & Innovation at SECRC, talked about the current threat landscape and best practices for preventing attacks. And Detective Superintendent Nick Bell, National Policing Director for the Cyber Resilience Centres, discussed the role of Team Cyber UK and how the regional Cyber Security Centres fit into that structure with the services and support they offer to businesses.

The audience then heard from Fred Welsby, Director of IT at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools, who went into detail about a recent incident where he arrived at work one day to discover they’d been the victim of a major ransomware attack. Nobody could log on to any computers, there was no internet, no facility for on-site or remote teaching and no access to any services, including databases and email systems - they were back to paper and pencil!

Thankfully, the school had some cloud and server backup systems off-domain with Redstor, which meant they could recover 90% of their affected servers resulting in a minimal loss of data. Without this, the attack could have been a lot worse.

Since the attack, the school has made a huge investment to upgrade all the cyber security systems, including limiting admin access for staff, email filters, antivirus and anti-malware software. The story shows just how devastating an attack can be for an institution like a school and what an impact it can have on so many people’s jobs.

Ed’s finished with his top tips for preventing and addressing cyber attacks for schools:

  • Back up the right data

  • Select critical data to be taken off-site and ensuring that it’s retrievable, searchable and recoverable

  • Hold backups offline, potentially with a company like Redstor

  • Prove the ability to recover data and services from backups

If you missed the webinar, register to receive the recording and accompanying materials here.

For more information about Redstor and their services, visit their website.


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