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Best Practice Update

Cyber attacks in blue text. Harry the Hacker phishing and viewing a computer screen.  Data protection education logo in the background. Cyber Attacks in blue text

The rise of cyber attacks in schools are causing pupils to miss classes

The BBC have recently reported that due to the number of cyber attacks on schools that the ICO have seen an increase of 55% since 2022 of cyber incidents in the education and childcare sector.
The BBC report talks to a multi academy trust about the types of attacks and how long it is taking them to recover.  The CEO of the trust talks about how so much of teaching and learning is done online which meant that when nine schools lose their systems there is a lot of re-planning with immediate effect for not just teaching and learning, but general running of the school.

Everything from pupil registers to fire safety is done online and had to be moved to paper.  There was chaos in the catering system as the staff had to write down how much each person had paid.

Some schools have to close, like Granville Academy and the Pingle Academy.  Remember that a cyber attack is also a data breach and should be reported to your data protection officer, the DfE and the ICO.  Also the ESFA if you are a multi academy trust.

Read the full BBC article: Pupils miss classes as school cyber attacks rise
While we recognise that schools have very stretched budgets at the moment, there are a number of cyber resilient processes that can be put in place at little or no cost.  The DfE Digital Standards for schools and colleges has guidance for being cyber resilient: Cyber security standards for schools and colleges.

Ensure all staff and governors that have access to the network have cyber security training annually.  Review the NCSC website for free resources and training material.

If you are a DPE customer start by answering the questions in our Information/Cyber Security checklist: