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Action Fraud recently issued warnings to schools against fraudsters posing as government officials in attempts to hold computer files to ransom. 

Numerous attempts to inflict ransomware on school systems have recently been made, making the message to schools loud and clear: ensure you have the best possible endpoint protection, educate your staff and be vigilant. Falling victim to this malicious cybercrime will be costly and will wreak utter havoc.

But what is ransomware, how does it work and how can you protect your school against it?

Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious code) that affects ‘endpoints’, or computer devices. There are two main types of malware: one which inhibits the operation of your device, including the boot-up process, and one which encrypts the user files, making it impossible to use your files or emails unless you agree to pay the ransom, or unless you have a back-up.

The most common ransomware methodology is phishing, via emails. The emails contain malicious links or files, which when clicked execute malicious code. Some emails do not need to be opened for encryption to take place, when files become unusable and pop-up messages demand payment. Users also need to be wary of clicking on unsuspecting links or websites which can also initiate ransomware.

Ransom payments are made via bit coins. Often instructions on how to purchase bit coins accompany the ransomware, however it is strongly advised NOT to pay the ransom. This fuels the cyberattack infrastructure and there is no guarantee you will be able to use your files again.

Ransomware is constantly changing so is difficult to detect and offenders are continuously testing new ransomwares against the world’s top security. Exploit kits are used to detect vulnerabilities in systems, especially those that have outdated protection. Once discovered, they are immediately exploited by infecting the system with malware.

Schools Broadband, specialist broadband, web filtering and security providers, recommend a combination of Fortinet Network Security, which all their schools are protected by, and Sophos Endpoint Security. They say this is the best security combination available, and as ransomware is a very real problem which is growing in volume and velocity, the importance of extra endpoint protection should not be underestimated. 

● Do NOT open unsolicited emails, attachments or SMS messages

● Do NOT pay the ransom

● Report any scam or attack to: www.actionfraud.police.uk

For more information on Sophos Endpoint Security contact Schools Broadband on 01133 222 333 or info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk

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Action Fraud recently issued warnings to schools against fraudsters posing as government officials in attempts to hold computer files to ransom. 

Numerous attempts to inflict ransomware on school systems have recently been made, making the message to schools loud and clear: ensure you have the best possible endpoint protection, educate your staff and be vigilant. Falling victim to this malicious cybercrime will be costly and will wreak utter havoc.

But what is ransomware, how does it work and how can you protect your school against it?

Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious code) that affects ‘endpoints’, or computer devices. There are two main types of malware: one which inhibits the operation of your device, including the boot-up process, and one which encrypts the user files, making it impossible to use your files or emails unless you agree to pay the ransom, or unless you have a back-up.

The most common ransomware methodology is phishing, via emails. The emails contain malicious links or files, which when clicked execute malicious code. Some emails do not need to be opened for encryption to take place, when files become unusable and pop-up messages demand payment. Users also need to be wary of clicking on unsuspecting links or websites which can also initiate ransomware.

Ransom payments are made via bit coins. Often instructions on how to purchase bit coins accompany the ransomware, however it is strongly advised NOT to pay the ransom. This fuels the cyberattack infrastructure and there is no guarantee you will be able to use your files again.

Ransomware is constantly changing so is difficult to detect and offenders are continuously testing new ransomwares against the world’s top security. Exploit kits are used to detect vulnerabilities in systems, especially those that have outdated protection. Once discovered, they are immediately exploited by infecting the system with malware.

Schools Broadband, specialist broadband, web filtering and security providers, recommend a combination of Fortinet Network Security, which all their schools are protected by, and Sophos Endpoint Security. They say this is the best security combination available, and as ransomware is a very real problem which is growing in volume and velocity, the importance of extra endpoint protection should not be underestimated. 

● Do NOT open unsolicited emails, attachments or SMS messages

● Do NOT pay the ransom

● Report any scam or attack to: www.actionfraud.police.uk

For more information on Sophos Endpoint Security contact Schools Broadband on 01133 222 333 or info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk

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Suppliers

Schools Broadband

Tel: 01133 222 333
What we do

Schools Broadband is one of the UK’s largest specialist providers of broadband and internet services to schools; serving state primary, secondary and sixth form colleges as well as SEN schools, Academies and large independents.

Our partnerships with all of the largest networks mean that we can search the market to find the best value and fastest internet technology for your school. Our partnerships with global leaders in web security, Fortinet and specialist educational filtering provider Lightspeed Systems, gives you the reassurance that your network and your pupils are protected whilst giving school staff the freedom to fully customise internet access, even down to individual pupil. We can also provide Mobile Device Management, Wi-Fi, VoIP Telephony and 4G as well as a Virtual Private LAN service.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.

More from us:
View our Primary, Secondary and Academy Trust brochures for more details
click here to view our brochures

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