Understanding the Assignment: Defending Against Ransomware
The education industry has unceremoniously emerged as the second most common target for ransomware. In 2020, at least 1,681 schools, colleges, and universities of all sizes and prestige were infected. Institutions face the difficult challenge of preserving academic freedom, easy access to information, and open collaboration while defending from threat actors who exploit these same characteristics. The acceleration of public cloud, Software as a Service, and the Internet of Things add additional layers of complexity and new cybersecurity challenges. This session will examine the characteristics that make higher education uniquely vulnerable to ransomware and why these institutions innately have a large attack surface. We'll explore challenges with legacy network architectures and why they have limited efficacy in preventing compromise. We’ll then discuss how existing technology infrastructure can be transformed to a Zero Trust model to mitigate threats and scale to cloud native architectures.