Posted on September 18, 2018 at 3:30 PM
As it is currently, many UK’s colleges and universities are having tough times with an alarming rate of DDoS threat. The majority of this threat is believed to have been caused by students.
Threats Confirmed by Infosecurity
Infosecurity lately received figures from Jisc which is a non-profit organization that operates the UK’s Janet network. This network is utilized by research and educational institutions in the UK.
According to the data released, the DDoS attack rate has increased from 276 that it was in the 2016/17 period to 386 attacks in 2017/18. That period equally saw the amount of higher institutions targeted from 64 to 82. And while analyzing the college attacks, membership rose from 75 to 107 while a DDoS attack increased from 302 to 475. The statement from Jisc reads in part:
DDoS attacks are designed to disrupt or bring down a network. If connectivity to the network is lost for any length of time, it can be catastrophic for any organization, both financially and reputationally… Students might, through no fault of their own, miss the deadline for handing in assignments online, and teaching would resort to ‘chalk and talk.’ Fortunately, attacks that cause this much damage are rare, and we encourage our members to be robust in their approach to cybersecurity.
Edinburgh University, a Victim
Just last week, the renowned University of Edinburg added to the statistics of institutions that have fallen victim of the DDoS attack. This became known after it could not keep its main website running for days.
According to John Chapman who the security head of Jisc, the majority of these attacks may not be unconnected with students’ nefarious activities and not likely those of cybercriminal groups. Corroborating this stance, Chapman recalled that a four-day attack had once been traced to one hall of residence in the institution.
Most of the attacks are said to come during hours that work is intense and less of such is recorded when the school is on break. Of course, the aim of these attackers is to strike hard when the damage would be much. And this is during working hours. So, Chapman while granting an interview to the BBC said that the staffs and students may not be unaware of the DDoS attacks recently ravaging in UK’s educational institutions.
UK’s Most Disturbing Cybersecurity Risk
Latest security survey carried out in the UK has revealed that its educational institution admits that accidental breaches and lack of awareness are its most-feared cybersecurity risks. The next in line is ransomware or malware.
Followed by these is social engineering and phishing while external attacks with DDoS are ranked fifth. To this extent, many believe that it is high time UK institutions found a lasting solution to its cybersecurity problems.