Federal authorities warned that attacks on schools could increase this school year, in a joint cybersecurity advisory issued Tuesday.
Attacks may increase as the school year begins “and ransomware criminal groups perceive opportunities for successful attacks,” said the advisory issued by the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
“School districts with limited cybersecurity capabilities and limited resources are often the most vulnerable; But the opportunistic approach often seen with cybercriminals can still put school districts with robust cybersecurity programs at risk,” the advisory warns.
“K-12 institutions may be viewed as particularly lucrative targets due to the amount of sensitive student data available through school systems or their managed service providers,” it said.
The agency recommends mitigation measures including encrypted backups, an audit of third-party vendor security, a recovery plan and multi-factor authentication, among other measures.