Vulnerability exposed

Vulnerability exposed 1

Vulnerability exposed

When we look back at 2021 to reflect and ultimately predict what might happen in 2022 in the cybersecurity sphere, it is a staggering and startling moment. Digest this: corporate cyber hacks were up 50% across all industries according to the Cybersecurity Intelligence blog.

The worst hit industries were education and research and the healthcare sector which suffered much more than the average. This is head-in-the-hands angst and annoyance because we all know that these victims are most vulnerable to attack and also the most damaging to the victims.

Let’s take a fairly light example that would effect an individual family. While parents home-schooled their kids for months and months from the beginning of the pandemic some parents and students were targeted by ransom hackers, not ransomware. Hackers using intimidation tactics like sms texts in the realm of, I know where you live, I can see you and your kids, give me $$. When the victim didn’t comply, schoolwork would be manipulated or disappear from cloud networks, like Google Classroom. The school that a child attends have all the child’s information: address, phone, next of kin, etc. Following the ransom attack it could also have fraud implications in the future.

According to Common Sense Media, Google classroom is 88% effective at protecting privacy for students, teachers and administrators. There are more than 50 million users of Google Classroom. Google offer extra protection at a cost for users of the Google suite of programs including Google Classroom. Due to public education being state government run, it is very difficult to assess the level of protection of each state as it pertains to student privacy and Google classroom in particular.

In the middle of last year, 2021, according to data activist Asher Wolf, teachers still had access to a single directory for all student contact emails, amongst other details, using the Google Classroom. However, I note, there were some privacy practices implemented early on in homeschooling. For example, my Mum couldn’t email her grandkids because it wasn’t an approved email address. That took away the ability for strangers to guess a child’s email address and email and engage them in conversation through chat or email.

It will take enormous investment to counteract the threats to cybersecurity and will state education departments step up for the challenge? Do they even have the funding available? There are case studies available on the DESE website that understand what the challenges for students and families navigating network schooling. Those challenges start with a practice of system administration review, including network drive sharing and future security protocols. This is a minimum for all industries surely but in particular, those industries that hold the key to information of and for vulnerable members of the community.

Faster Networks help businesses protect their digital assets. We are a cyber security partner that brings the best software solutions that anticipate and fix digital vulnerabilities. Our areas of expertise includes Vulnerability Management, Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR), Application Security, Infrastructure Security, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection and Application Pentesting.

Contact us on +61 3 9016 0085 or send us an email to learn more about our cyber security services.