The education sector is one of the most attacked in the world and Portugal is no exception.
We have already mentioned the increase in the number of cyber-attacks in 2020 and 2021, a trend driven by the pandemic crisis that has gone through. However, it is important to highlight behavior at the school level. According to a study by ITChannel, Portugal is the sixth country that suffers more security attacks at the educational level, with a weekly average of attacks exceeding three thousand.
According to our partner Check Point, hackers have been trying to take advantage of the e-learning regime, as well as the uncertainty regarding the future of educational models, since, despite the high vaccination rate, the school as we know it, it remains a non-existent reality.
The Country Manager of Check Point in Portugal, Rui Duro, says that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the return to school to carry out the attacks, because schools, universities and research institutions are the easiest and most attractive targets since they are not have the proper cybersecurity features to protect themselves from potential cyber attacks.
As already mentioned in another ActiveSys article, the pandemic forced a quick adaptation, not only personal, but also technological. Online classes, at students’ and teachers’ homes, with poorly protected Wi-Fi networks, led to an increase in the fragility of the devices, which are more subject to hacker attacks.
A CNCS study revealed that many academic institutions of the most varied levels, during the pandemic, did not develop any kind of measures and actions related to cybersecurity. The same study pointed out the solutions presented so that teachers could remain minimally protected. Of these, we highlight the updating of software and antivirus, not sharing sensitive and personal data via digital channels and not opening unknown emails or links with also unknown attachments.
Several professionals warn of the lack of preparation in terms of online safety, not only for teachers, but also for students. Among the difficulties pointed out, the lack of awareness and knowledge on the subject is the most indicated as the lack of information on the topic of online security. With training and lectures on cybersecurity and the solutions indicated, these indicators are no longer an issue in academic life in Portugal.
It is crucial that educational institutions understand the need and urgency to provide their users with a fail-safe network architecture, with high availability and a high level of security. The greater the degree of digitalization, the more likely the level of institutions will progress while learning outcomes are improved.
TP-Link, in turn, highlighted the three essential aspects to take into account in this return to school. The first term focuses on efficiency, as it is important to maximize the performance of each structure, through, for example, good Internet speed, which allows the connection of several devices. Another priority focuses on creating a network of devices or a network of guests, as well as control, as users need to access the Internet from anywhere and from any device. Finally, the priority issue is, without a doubt, the security, not only of the users, but also of the data with which it works. In addition, the company highlights minors who, in this case, must have parental control, so that parents can limit their time online and block access to certain websites.
In this sense, the Directorate General for Education also warned of the importance of care in using digital platforms.
In view of this, we list the main advantages of implementing ActiveSys cybersecurity solutions:
- Compliance with RGPD and infrastructure requirements;
- Security in the exchange of confidential information and personal data;
- Follow up whenever necessary;
- Definition of user access matrices to different types of information;
- Control of who accesses information, where and how;
- Complete monitoring of the entire infrastructure;
- Protection of all devices.
It’s not too late to protect your institution for this new school year. Contact ActiveSys to find out more about the services and solutions we provide in this regard.