Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

UK Universities Remain Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

Written by  Sep 23, 2019

U.K. universities will continue to face cyberattacks from nation-state actors and organised criminal gangs in the years ahead, according National Cyber Security Centre report, which calls on schools to take defensive measures.

Threat actors already are spreading ransomware and other forms of malware through universities to earn ransoms, collect student data or steal intellectual property, a spokesperson for the NCSC tells Information Security Media Group that.

NCSC, the public-facing arm of U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, estimates that the financial damages to universities totalled about £145 million during the first half of 2018, the report notes:-

One of the main reasons for this uptick in cyber incidents is the that universities sometimes avoid security measures that could hamper the free flow of information, the report notes.

"In both culture and technology, universities are one of the most open and outward facing sectors," the report finds. "This enables and eases collaboration between academics across borders, and is likely a key component of their success. Unfortunately, this also eases the task of an attacker."

Weighing Up the Threats

The NCSC report show how the different types of threats are disrupting universities.

Malware and phishing attacks are usually tied to criminal gangs looking to make cash by collecting ransoms or selling data on underground forums, the report finds.

But the most serious, long-term threat to U.K. universities is from nation-state actors who are using more sophisticated methods to steal research data or other intellectual property, the report notes.

"While it is highly likely that cybercrime will present the most evident difficulties for universities, state-sponsored espionage will likely cause greater long-term damage," according to the report. "This is particularly true for those universities which prize innovation and research partnerships."

Folder Lock - Data Security & Encryption [Download]
£12.79amazon uk

These findings dovetail with a recent report released by VMware and Dell EMC which surveyed 75 senior IT executives at 68 U.K. universities. Some 53 percent of those surveyed confirmed that their research had already been accessed by foreign hackers.

Iranian threat

The NCSC has tied some of these U.K university attacks to an Iranian organisation called the Mabna Institute, which has led hacking campaigns across the world to steal intellectual property and sensitive research materials.

In August 2018, this Iranian-backed hacking group targeted 76 universities across 14 countries, including 18 in the U.K., through a campaign that used over 300 fake websites, as well as credential stealing methods, designed to steal research from these schools, the report notes.

Earlier this month, SecureWorks published updated research on Mabna Institute, as well as a hacking group associated with it called "Cobalt Dickens." The report found that the hacking group targeted 60 universities across the world this summer.

Although IT Security Centre UK UK hadn’t got an opportunity to audit all these apps and offer you a security report, it has come up with some tips on how to transact safely from mobile banking apps by keeping the data safe on a simultaneous note.


Norton Security Deluxe 2019 | 5 Devices + Utilities| 1 Year | Antivirus Included | PC/Mac/iOS/Android | Activation Code by Post
amazon uk

Improved Security

The NCSC report recommends several steps that universities should take to better protect their infrastructure. These include bolstering security awareness; strengthening access controls, especially around systems that host sensitive data; and implementing network segmentation to help separate sensitive data within the network.

The NCSC spokesperson adds that universities are encouraged to adopt the centre's Active Cyber Defence - a program that uses automation and other tools to stop malware and other attacks. "The NCSC is working on the ways that protection might be extended to universities," the spokesperson says.

This article contain Amazon UK affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. The prices may vary after publication, please follow links for current prices and offers.

Did you find this review useful? Comment below or follow us on
Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.


Popular Cyber News

Jan 30, 2020 Cyber Security

UK Cyber Security is Booming

The UK’s cyber security industry is currently enoying a three-year boom, with the number of active security firms in t...

Jan 30, 2020 Cyber Security

Phishing A Major Factor in UK Cybercrime

Of all reported incidents in 2019, almost half were related to phishing attacks. ...

Mar 05, 2020 Cyber Security

Tesco and Boots Loyalty Card Schemes Affected by Security Issues

UK retailers Tesco and Boots are dealing with the after affects of cyber security issues that may have affected thousand...

Feb 08, 2020 Cyber Security

Millions of UK Businesses don't have a Cyber Insurance Policy

According to a survey conducted by Insurance firm Gallagher, millions of businesses operating in the UK don't have basic...

Feb 13, 2020 Cyber Threats

Steps To Combat Insider Threats

Your organisation are generally well prepared for threats from outside the company. But are you ready to address threats...

Feb 10, 2020 Cyber Security

The Cyber Security Fight Won't Stop

The controversy over the decision to allow Huawei technology to be used in the UK’s 5G networks is a very high-profile...

Feb 07, 2020 Cyber Threats

British Police Warn: Cleaners Are A Cyber Threat

British police have reportedly warned of a cyber threat posed by a not often thought about data stealer, namely the use ...

Feb 29, 2020 Cyber Security

Wi-Fi of More Than a Billion Devices Can Be Exposed

A billion-plus computers, phones, and other devices are said to suffer a chip-level security vulnerability that can be e...

Feb 04, 2020 Cyber Security

NHS Employs Supplier Security Audits to Improve Cyber Security

NHS Shared Business Services and its cloud partner Virtualstock have enlisted cyber threat intelligence and risk assessm...

Feb 25, 2020 Cyber Security

The Top Cyber Security Companies in the UK

Investing in the right cyber security for your company is more important than ever, but which are the top UK cyber secur...

Feb 28, 2020 Cyber Threats

UK Prepares ‘National Cyber Force’ To Tackle Terrorists and Other Threats

The UK is preparing the official launch of a specialist cyber force that will target terror groups and hostile nation st...

Feb 19, 2020 Cyber Security

Cybersecurity Jobs Are Not Going To Be Filled

CISOs around the world expect a serious lack of global cybersecurity talent which will worsen in the next five years, ac...

Feb 28, 2020 Cyber Threats

DVLA Say Cyber Criminals are Targeting UK Motorists

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has warned that cyber criminals and scammers are targeting unsuspecting d...

May 22, 2020 Cyber Security

EasyJet will be sued over customer data breach

Legal firm PGMBM, a specialist in group legal action, has issued a class action claim under Article 82 of the General Da...

Mar 23, 2020 Cyber Security

Thousands of Netflix and Other Streamers Accounts are Being Stolen

With a massive surge in home use of video and music streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Apple Music, Netflix ...

Mar 27, 2020 Cyber Security

Hospitals worldwide offered free security software

As cyberattacks against hospitals surge during the coronavirus crisis, technology companies are stepping up to alleviate...

Symantec Home 120x60