Ransomware advice for academia

Support for academia managing the rise in targeted ransomware attacks.

There has been evidence of a rise in targeted ransomware attacks against the UK education sector by cyber criminals. Some of these attacks have made the mainstream news. Suffolk County Council IT service have put together this advice document to give you the relevant ransomware advice you will need to help protect your school or academy from attacks.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have produced advice for academia (PDF, 586KB). We would recommend that all schools review and act upon the advice immediately, as it will help reduce the threat of ransomware attacks. 

Summary of NCSC advice in academia alert

Disrupting ransomware attack vectors:

Enable effective recovery:

Find full guidance from the NCSC on Mitigating malware and ransomware attacks.

Latest Department for Education guidance on backup

In August 2020, the Department for Education and National Cyber Security Centre (NSCS) shared updated guidance relating to how schools should protect data in light of increased numbers of cyber-attacks and ransomware infections targeting and affecting schools.

The guidance stated that all education providers must have the ability to restore systems and recover data from backups and to ensure that:

  • They are backing up the right data
  • That backups are held offline
  • That they have tested that they can restore services and recover data from backups

Suffolk County Council IT service provides a remote backup service with Redstor who are approved by Capita for the backing up of Capita SIMs data. Read more about Redstor service for schools.

Support from Norfolk and Suffolk Police

John Greenwood is the Cyber Security Advisor for Norfolk and Suffolk Police. He is available to do cyber talks, for free, at your school and can offer some great industry best practice cyber advice. We would recommend getting in touch with John to take up his offer.

Contact John Greenwood to arrange a talk that's customised to your needs:

Read Cyber Protect Choices document (PDF, 571KB).