Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

ZERO TRUST SECURITY - THREAT REPORT FOR EDUCATION

Originally Published: https://blogs.akamai.com/jp/2018/09/post-9.html

HK1.png

Generation Z and New Challenges in the Education Field

The youth of Generation Z grew up with Windows 2000 and XP, and many played with iPhones, iPads, and Android products. Known as digital natives, they are an essential part of today's educational landscape -- where cloud, mobile, and social networks form the infrastructure for their daily lives. For them, the Internet itself may seem more relevant than things like electricity or gasoline.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education is in a transition phase as it evolves into a new form integrated with a new generation of students, network adoption, and digital transformation. Utilizing online content at universities and high schools has become increasingly common in training younger generations to prepare for the demands of society and career. And web portals have become a standard interface for job hunting and finding internships -- both critical activities for students.

The Always-on School Campus

As educational institutions adopt ICT, the demands of network connectivity increase for students. According to a research study by the Center for Digital Education, the average student brings seven connected devices to school, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and more. Further, 55% of college students say they cannot live without the Internet.

To accommodate the need for "connected" campuses, many universities and colleges offer on-site Wi-Fi, and high school computer labs have Internet connectivity for their IT-based classes.

HK2.png

Threat Protection is Critical for Students and Schools

While going online has the benefit of connecting to information worldwide, there are emerging new risks. Some of the typical cases include damage caused by phishing domains, exploit tools, and malware.

Here's an example of how phishing can occur: On a desktop computer in a university computer lab, a student receives and opens an email that says, "Dear xx, this is very important recruitment information just for you. For details, please see xxxx.com." As soon as the student visits "xxxx.com," malware is downloaded and installed to steal information stored on the computer. Alternatively, the computer might be used as a "bot" (a computer controlled by a malicious actor) as a part of criminal activity.

Everyday Risks

All too commonly, bad actors using malware or ransomware make computers inoperable and demand ransom money. One example is the widely spread WannaCry ransomware attacks of 2017. Another incident at a high school in Taranaki, New Zealand, made headlines this year when PCs in the school were compromised by ransomware. On a Monday in July, staff members turned on their computers to discover an anonymous attacker message demanding a $5,000 payment. Working with the local police, the school conducted a forensic investigation, which required taking the network offline to prevent further damage. As a result, the entire school suffered from downtime.

Staying Safe from Hackers

To protect organizations from this new threat, Akamai offers zero trust security solutions, a simple and intelligent approach for ICT architecture. Enterprise Threat Protector (ETP) is a part of this zero trust anti-malware approach. ETP automatically detects and blocks possible threat destinations, preventing communications with phishing actors, malware, and C2 (connection with compromised devices). 

To learn more about how Akamai's zero trust security can protect your organization, please visit akamai.com/etp.

Leave a comment