Nottinghamshire Secondary Schools Have Suspended Online Learning Following Cyber Attack
Fifteen secondary schools from Nottinghamshire have been forced to shut down their IT networks because they were hit by a cyber attack.
The schools, part of the Nova Education Trust, are without access to their usual ways of communication since March 3rd, being unable to use their email, phones and websites. This is bad news for all the students that are learning from home, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fixing the problem
The trust has brought in cybersecurity experts to help analyze and better understand the attack, whilst the schools started issuing statements saying they are “working around the clock” to resolve the issues.
Nova Education Trust said the attack, that resulted in unauthorized access to its infrastructure, made the trust shut down all IT systems as a security precaution while the central IT team investigates its origins and potential impact.
“The incident has been reported to the Department for Education and the Information Commissioner’s Office, and the trust is currently working with the National Cyber Security Centre and additional security professionals to resolve the matter,” said the spokesperson. “All trust employees have been advised to take the necessary precautions.”
Each of the schools that had any relationship with the trust was also advised to shut down their IT systems, while the investigation is conducted, therefore many students are not able to access the materials previously sent from the school via channels such as email, Dojo, or Microsoft Teams.
Best practices are important
At this time there’s no indication that any personal data of either the staff or the students were leaked as a result of the cyberattack.
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NCSC, The National Cyber Security center declared that:
We are aware of this incident and are working with the Nova Education Trust and law enforcement partners to fully understand its impact.
The NCSC works closely with the education sector and we have published practical resources to help schools improve their cybersecurity and response to cyber incidents.
Cybersecurity specialists are saying that raising awareness could be the key to preventing future attacks, as it teaches both students and staff how to spot and deal with common attack vectors and better understand the importance of cybersecurity.