Companies and institutions across the globe are dealing with increasing security threats these days. Each year, it seems wrongdoers find new ways to carry out their nefarious plans. Just as new security measures are developed to keep those crimes at bay, criminals find alternate routes for keeping their agendas afloat. At the same time, wrongdoers are discovering growing lists of targets.
Crimes Branch Out
It’s no secret that hackers are on an ongoing mission to seek out sensitive information and boldly take what isn’t rightfully theirs. Numerous types of sensitive information can give hackers the tools they need for identity theft and other crimes. Several overlooked vulnerabilities can provide doorways for cyber criminals to take advantage of as well. Companies like Genetec strive to protect their clients against the ever-growing range of threats.
Stores, banks, and major corporations are obvious targets. Individuals are also common victims as many of them inadvertently leave themselves susceptible to identity theft. Some people are surprised at the lengths hackers will go to achieve their goals, though. At this point, they’re even directing their attention to the education sector as evidenced in one recent write-up. In doing so, some cyber criminals are reaping major rewards.
Why Would Cyber Criminals Target Schools?
Quite a few people may wonder just why cyber criminals would target schools? What could they possibly gain by hacking into students’ grades and educational materials? In truth, schools’ databases contain a great deal of information hackers can use to their advantage. Keep in mind, students’ records alone contain parents’ names and contact information, addresses, and students’ social security numbers. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though.
School databases also store a wealth of additional information. That includes teachers’ and other staff members’ sensitive personal data. Their bank account information may be available to hackers through such databases. At the same time, parents often link their bank accounts or debit cards to students’ lunch accounts and other payment requirements. Because of that, hackers could certainly use those systems as gateways for identity theft. Those are only a few of the factors to consider.
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Protecting Schools from Every Angle
Several solutions are available for improving security in schools. Cybersecurity hasn’t been left out of the mix. Some of the simplest and most effective solutions involve implementing access control for potentially sensitive data. Furthermore, staff members should be well-versed in the importance of doing their part to keep information secure. That includes creating effective passwords, not sharing passwords, and avoiding leaving their computers open to potential wrongdoing.
Cybersecurity isn’t the only safety issue schools should address. After all, physical security is essential in all types of educational institutions, and threats in that realm are growing more serious. Security cameras, advanced physical access control measures, and comprehensive emergency response protocols all factor into the equation. That being said, many schools overlook the potential for cybercrimes. In doing so, they leave themselves, their students, staff members, and others vulnerable to identity theft and other types of fraud.