Blog /
Ransomware in Education in 2023
An increase in attacks of 84 per cent over six months – Is your school protected?

Ransomware has been challenging for education organisations in the past year due to ransomware groups.

There were 190 known ransomware attacks against educational institutions between June 2022 and May 2023, and many were likely unreported and unrecorded. Attacks on education increased by 84 per cent over the first and second half of that time frame in 2023.

Distribution of attacks by industry, June 2022-May 23

Further analysis of the data reveals that while ransomware attacks against educational institutions are a worldwide phenomenon, between June 2022 and May 2023, the USA (with 56% of known attacks) and the UK (15% of attacks) were the most frequently targeted nations.

The Threat Environment

The stakes are pretty high, ransomware attacks have caused an estimated 1,600 days of downtime for schools and colleges, and in 2022, the average ransomware breach cost was $4.54 million.

Known attacks on education by country, June 2022-May 2023

It becomes evident that no region is secure from ransomware when we break down assaults on education organisations by country. With 107 documented attacks, the USA took the most hits.

With 28 documented attacks, the United Kingdom came in second place; other nations, like Australia, Canada, Germany, and Brazil, were also significant victims of these hackers.

It is crucial to remember that the number of attacks is much higher, and the statistics only include attacks for which the ransoms weren’t paid.

The ransomware attack distribution is typically more evenly distributed throughout several nations, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and different European countries, as shown in the chart above.

Looking Forward

The trend of ransomware gangs targeting educational institutions will continue and likely worsen. The truth is that many academic institutions suffer from inadequate technology and are under-resourced due to their restricted finances, making them a prime target for ransomware gangs.

But strength comes from knowledge. Educational institutions can be better equipped to protect against ransomware threats with more knowledge about them.

Preventing Ransomware

• Block well-used entranceways. Create a plan for quickly fixing the vulnerabilities in systems exposed to the internet and disabling or hardening VPNs and other remote access methods.
• Implement a document management system certified in data protection with multiple endpoint detection and response detection methods.
• Automatic backups that are safe, encrypted, and off-site to prevent access by hackers. The ability to swiftly access or restore essential business functions is regularly verified.

Talk to Docuworx: We can implement an affordable Education System to protect your data, also enabling automated business processes to increase efficiency, productivity and compliance.

Request a free trial

Author: Carlos Lucia
Experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the document management industry. Skilled in sales, business development, document management solutions, marketing strategy, and building new business. Strong background in business finance and passionate about facilitating companies' digital transformations. Co-founder and Director of Docuworx, an Australian company that facilitates the digital transformations of businesses and organisations across Asia-Pacific.