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How Are Higher Ed Cyber Attacks Evolving?

Government Technology

As higher ed IT administrators have battled a growing onslaught of cyber threats since the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber criminals have worked to stay one step ahead of them with more sophisticated targeting of users and imitating network systems, according to some education analysts and officials.

According to a 2023 report from the cybersecurity company SonicWall, the nature of cyber attacks against higher ed appears to have changed and adapted to new security measures in the past few years. While much of the focus has been almost solely on ransomware attacks and data breach incidents — such as the recent MOVEit hack that has affected state and federal agencies and universities around the globe — the SonicWall report said malware attacks at colleges and universities also increased significantly between 2021 and 2022. It added that the threat of phishing attempts has remained, with some organizations battling what feels like a never-ending onslaught of more sophisticated phishing attacks.


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