School administrators and IT staff can be super-vigilant, but the hackers are getting better and better at sneaking through security.
the most common cybersecurity threats, and how can school staff avoid them?
Eavesdropping / Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) Attacks
What they are:It’s likely that you sometimes use a school laptop or mobile device to gain internet access via Wi-Fi networks in public places like coffee shops or airports. If so, be aware that there may be hackers eavesdropping to try and gain entry to any two-party exchange you make so they can filter and steal data.
How to avoid them:Always use a school-verified SIM card, dongle or VPN(virtual private network) to access the internet in public places.
Social Engineering Attacks
According to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations report, 92 percent of malware is delivered via email, often referred to as social engineering attacks. The aim is to interact with the user and influence and manipulate their actions to gain access to systems and install harmful software. Malware uses various guises. Here are some of the most common:
PITA, the Portable Instrument for Trace Acquisitionattack, which uses electromagnetic wave detection equipment (available at any computer hardware store) that could “read” the electromagnetic pulses emanating from a standard laptop’s keyboard, including the keystrokes used to de-encrypt secure documents.
The new attack, called DiskFiltration, does something similar using the acoustic signals emitted from the movement of a computer’s hard disk drive (HDD).
One way to beat air-gap attacks, according to the researchers, is to switch to solid-state drives (SSDs), which have no moving parts and therefore emit no noise. However, according to the researchers, “despite the increased rate of adoption of SSDs, HDDs are still the most sold storage devices, mainly due to their low cost.
Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to the infected computer system in some way, and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction. Some forms of ransomware systematically encrypt files on the system’s hard drive, which become difficult or impossible to decrypt without paying the ransom for the encryption key, while some may simply lock the system and display messages intended to coax the user into paying. Ransomware typically propagates as a trojan, whose payload is disguised as a seemingly legitimate file.