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Rapid Rise in Ransomware Attacks against Universities

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when all the education sectors are conducting classes online, higher education is constantly suffering from ransomware attacks. In the past year, the number of ransomware attacks targeting universities has doubled and the cost of ransomware demands is gradually increasing.

Ransomware is a problem across all sectors, but for higher education it has become a serious issue in recent past. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the students to receive their teaching completely online while many academics are also working from home. This situation has provided a greater scope for ransomware operators to target the higher education sectors easily.

Analysis of ransomware attacks against higher education found that attacks against universities during 2020 were up 100 percent compared to 2019, and that the average ransom demand now stands at $447,000.The sharp rise in the number of ransomware attacks, combined with the six-figure sums ransomware gangs demand in exchange for the decryption key.

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