Tag Archives: cyber attack

US Schools Becoming Targets for Cyber Crimes

Findings explores why US schools are becoming targets for Cyber Crimes

Cyber crimes are becoming an increasing issue for many schools within the United States, with various attacks ranging from data breaches to ransomware. Many believe that attacks began increasing during COVID-19 since schools began implementing remote learning models. 

This caused schools to be more reliant on technology and IT systems, which in turn brought more opportunities for cyber criminals.  

With this alarming rise in recent years, educational institutions need to be aware of the potential risks that they may face and take all necessary steps to safeguard their networks and everyone within their school districts

Types of Cyber Attacks

Cybercriminals can use various tools to target schools, including data breaches, phishing scams, malware, and ransomware.

Ransomware Attacks:

School districts have seen a rise of Ransomware attacks where criminal groups seek to extort money from victims in exchange for the restoration of their IT systems and any sensitive data they may have been able to exfiltrate. 

Data breaches:

Breaches are the most common form of attack, where hackers gain access to sensitive information such as student records and financial data. Phishing scams involve sending emails with malicious links that can install malware on the school’s network.

Malware:

Malware can be used to slow down or completely shut down the school’s network, while ransomware is used to hold the school’s data hostage until a payment is made.

Both of these tactics can be incredibly damaging, causing disruption to school operations and putting the security of student and faculty data at risk.

If detected early, however, these attacks can be mitigated, and steps can be taken to prevent future attacks.

Both malicious tactics, such as cyber-attacks and data breaches, can cause disastrous consequences for school operations, jeopardizing the security of student and faculty data.

If the attack is detected early on, it is possible to take necessary measures to contain the damage and mitigate the risk of a similar attack occurring in the future.

This could include implementing stronger security protocols, increasing monitoring of activities on the school network, and providing regular training to staff and students on cyber security best practices. Additionally, schools should also consider investing in technology solutions such as intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and other security tools that can help protect against malicious cyber incidents.

Taking these proactive steps can significantly reduce the chances of a future attack, and the associated disruption to school operations.

Preventative Measures

Schools need to take proactive steps to protect their networks from cyber criminals.

This includes investing in up-to-date antivirus software and firewalls, conducting regular security audits, and training staff on cybersecurity best practices.

Additionally, schools should have a response plan in place in case of a cyber attack to ensure that any threats can be assessed and dealt with promptly and effectively.

Such plans should detail the steps to be taken to contain the damage and be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the latest technology and trends in the cybersecurity world.

It is important to note that these plans must be tailored to the specific needs of the organization, taking into account the size, complexity, and industry, as well as any other relevant factors. Additionally, it is essential that all staff involved in the implementation of these plans are well-trained in the latest cybersecurity best practices, in order to ensure that the organization is well-prepared in the event of a breach.

Conclusion

Cyber crimes are becoming a major issue for US schools, and it is important for them to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to protect their networks.

By investing in the right security measures and having a response plan in place, schools can help protect their networks from cyber criminals.

A well-thought out security strategy is a critical component of any school’s security plan, and by taking the necessary steps to ensure their networks are adequately protected, schools can help reduce their chances of falling victim to these malicious activities.

Additionally, by staying up to date on the latest cyber threats and taking the time to educate staff and students on the importance of cyber security, schools can be better prepared to address any potential security incidents that may occur.

How Supply Chain Cyber Security Threats Impact Stock Value

How supply chain cyber security Threats Impact Stock Value

The most obvious types of fallout from supply chain cyber security threats are the impact on regulatory compliance or the damage to a business’s reputation. 

 

But here’s another major consequence of supply chain security attacks that keep occurring despite dogged efforts to stop them: Losses on the stock market. When businesses are affected by supply chain cyber security threats – even if the threats originate from an external vendor, rather than the business’s own systems – their stock price usually takes a major hit.

 

Here’s why supply chain cyber security threats can wreak such havoc on stocks, and what to do to protect your business from watching its market value plummet due to supply chain vulnerabilities. Your goals should be to resolve the incident in a way that protects your operations, customers and reputation, while also demonstrating to partners that supply chain security is a key priority.

 

More resources  below to keep your supply chain secure:

Take a look at how Vulnerability disclosure programs can help secure your business

&

Watch here to understand how to give your supply chain monitoring the advantage it needs.

How supply chain security threats impact stock value

When a supply chain breach occurs, you’re at risk of losing share price for a variety of reasons.

 

Probably the most obvious is the hit you’ll take to your company’s reputation. Again, even if the breach originated in a third-party product, investors may still question your commitment to security, given that you were unable to detect and mitigate the breach quickly enough to prevent it from harming the organization.

 

Regulatory fines, too, could follow supply chain breaches if the breach leads to loss of regulated data. Those fines will impact quarterly earnings reports,that investors use to decide whether to buy or sell stock in your company.

 

In more extreme cases, supply chain security threats may become vectors that allow threat actors to take control of your systems. In turn, attackers could take actions like publishing fake news through your media channels or inject false price quotes into data feeds. Such activity may breed a sense among investors that you’ve totally lost control of your business operations, leading to a dramatic fall in market value.

 

Types of supply chain cyber security threats against stock markets

As the following image shows, supply chain breaches can target both suppliers and customers.

Proposed taxonomy for supply chain attacks

Either way, the fallout from a stock market perspective is likely to be negative for the companies involved. Any type of supply chain attack – from malware infection, to brute-force attacks, to vulnerability exploits and beyond – can undercut a business’s reputation among investors and lead to swift sell-off – which brings down stock prices.

Stock losses resulting from supply chain attacks

 

The risk we’re describing here is not just theoretical. Here are some of the most recent major supply chain cyber threat exploits. You’ll notice that they led to significant loss of company value on the stock market.

Nvidia cyber attack

When Nvidia was attacked by a ransomware group called Lapsus$, Reuters reported that Nvidia’s schematics, drivers, firmware and other sensitive intellectual property may have been compromised. The credentials of 71 000 employees were leaked, after which Lapsus$ made this information available to other hacking communities. The result was an immediate drop in Nvidia’s stock price by 7%. Although the drop was modest, and the stock quickly recovered, it was still a clear example of how supply chain cyber security threats can hamper stock value.

Mimecast  breach

Mimecast is an email security and cyber resiliance platform. When the news was released in January 2021 that they had been hit by supply chain cyber security threats, this upset shareholders trust in the stock.  

 

Mimecast stock lost more than 12 percent of its value following the disclosure of a compromised certificate. Moreover, because about 10 percent of the company’s customers were using the compromised certificate, this supply chain attack likely also impacted other businesses.

 

The Chief Information Security Officer, Terence Jackson at Thycotic, a Washington, D.C. based provider of privileged access management (PAM) solutions said,”The certificates that were compromised were used by Mimecast email security products.  These products access customers’ Microsoft 365 exchange servers in order for them to provide security services (backup, spam, and phishing protection). Since these certificates were legit, an adversary would have been able to connect without raising suspicions to eavesdrop and exfiltrate email communications.”

SolarWinds attack

The SolarWinds supply chain breach, in which attackers injected malware into SolarWinds’s source code, was associated with a huge selloff that took place just days before the breach was publicly disclosed. 

 

While it has not yet been proven that the 35 investors who sold their stock right before public disclosure had insider knowledge of the breach, the timing of the selloff doesn’t seem to be coincidental.

 

Assuming it wasn’t, this is also an example of how a supply chain attack can trigger a major loss of stock value.

Staying on top of supply chain cyber security threats

 

Once a supply chain attack takes place, the damage to market value is done. The best way to contain supply chain cyber security threats, then, is to be proactive, so you can address risks before they turn into active breaches.

 

Start by gaining full visibility into your supply chain. This is the only way to know which vulnerabilities may impact you.

 

Then, take preventative measures – like application controls and network segmentation – that reduce the likelihood or mitigate the impact of cyber security incidents.

 

You should also educate your employees and partners about cyber security, and make it clear that finding and containing supply chain cyber security threats is a top priority.

 

Finally, have a crisis management plan for your supply chain security in place so that you can react swiftly if an attack does occur. Although managing your response won’t prevent all financial harm, it can reduce the total damage.

Supply chain cyber security threats aren’t bad just for your users or your IT team. They also pose a serious risk to your business’s market value. To prevent major financial losses, it’s critical to have a supply chain threat detection and mitigation solution in place.

 

Learn how Findings can help your business stay ahead of supply chain cyber security threats

 

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