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Cyber risks

Dealing with cyber security

Without expert knowledge of the subject, cyber security can feel complex and intimidating. Yet schools remain high on the list of targets for cyber criminals, so it’s something that independent schools need to take control of.

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The major cyber security risks for independent schools:

  • Phishing attacks are the most common, where hackers break into a school’s IT system and, for example, contact parents with false payment details when fees are due. Unsuspecting parents duly accept the new information, with the hackers quick to close down accounts once any payments have been made.

  • Ransomware involves hackers gaining access to sensitive data – such as pupil records, parents’ financial information, or even CCTV footage – and demand huge sums of money to relinquish the data, often with no guarantee once payments have been made. They can also take over individual devices or entire networks and only relinquish control once a ‘ransom’ has been paid.

  • Other threats include the permanent deletion of digital files, ranging from educational resources to sensitive data.

These issues can easily result in significant – and long-term – reputational damage for your school. Not to mention potential loss of income if worried parents decide to move children elsewhere.

That’s why a dedicated cyber liability insurance policy is so crucial. Not only do our policies cover loss of income related to a cyber attack, but they can also cover the cost of third-party experts (if required), such as a forensic investigator or ransom negotiator.

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