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19 Feb 2018

Backup in the Education sector

Why the always online digital classroom needs better protection.

The use of digital systems in the classroom is responsible for transforming Education over the last few decades. In a new digital era, technology is used to enhance the student experience and improve operational efficiencies. A recent YouGov poll stated that 76% of teachers use technology in the classroom. As these numbers continue to increase many are reaching the point where it has become indispensable to learning.

In this context, keeping data safe is fundamental when ensuring the smooth development of teaching activities and the daily work of the students. Regardless of how catastrophic suffering a malware attack could be, many institutions fail to protect their data and still rely on aging anti-virus or traditional solutions as a response to new sophisticated threats.

Vulnerabilities have increased due to the uncontrolled use of technology in the classroom.

Technology has brought undeniable benefits to education by providing access from anywhere and enabling greater collaboration. But, it has also made education institutions more vulnerable to malware attacks.

  • Students need to use multiple devices and applications to complete assignments: online access to classes, research, marks, etc. They often also connect personal devices to the open network, potentially exposing private and confidential data.
  • Education institutions need to provide technologies and online access in the classroom. Using a public network for tech-based learning opens education institutions to malware attacks.
  • For IT Administrators, there is the big challenge of creating a simple and secure access to data and applications from any location and using any devices. But, how do you provide security when you have limited control over those devices?

The Education industry has suffered the greatest number of ransomware attacks in the UK

It has been estimated that during a 12 month period, 13% of schools experienced ransomware attacks. There are multiple reasons why they suffer these attacks. High levels of network file sharing, having a small IT team or the lack of up to date backup solutions are just a few examples.

Many institutions believe that their tried and tested traditional solutions offer enough protection. But, this approach makes it very easy for hackers to attack those poorly secured systems and easily steal identifying data.

Steps to tackle ransomware in education

1.Have a regular and reliable backup solution that provides assurance that the data is recoverable even in the worst-case scenarios. Scheduling full, differential and incremental images as part of a regular backup cycle is essential for optimising the use of available storage space, protecting computers from sudden failure and giving you the ability to recover historical data. It can be a lifeline for organizations hit with a ransomware attack.

2.Test your backups to ensure its recoverability. Having a backup system is not enough to just cross it off their list and move on. This has to be complemented with a regular testing, so you are not at risk of being corrupted or discover your data has been lost when you need it most.

3.Implement an awareness-raising programme: Students and teachers are more connected than previous generations, but that doesn’t mean that they have the knowledge to stay safe from a ransomware attack or they are aware of good security practices to follow. Pop-ups advertisement, links or unknown emails are some of the ways to make them fall as a victim.

4.Implement a data security methodology as part of your organisation culture: Data protection is much more than buying the right backup and DR solution. It involves having the right data security plan in place and making sure your staff manage the data with confidentiality and Integrity.

How Macrium Software is helps institutions get top marks on their backup exam.

Both students and teachers are finding that most of their work is completed digitally. Any impact on their data may have catastrophic consequences on deadlines, delivery and ultimately on the Institution reputation.

The IT administrator is under constant much pressure and often guilty of taking a reactive rather than proactive mindset to problems. Support calls for rescuing a missing project or saving the data over a floated PC can often get lost in the sea of daily requests.

However, this dramatic situation could be easily avoidable by having a backup and disaster recovery solution in place. With workstation bundles, Site Manager 7 will enable backup, restore and monitoring of multiple networked computers running Macrium Reflect so they don’t need to worry. Both teachers and students can be confident that Macrium Reflect will be quickly and reliably protecting the school’s data and systems.

At Macrium Software, we also have a product designed specifically for the IT Administrator: our Technician Licenses. The Technician’s License enables technicians to use a portable application running on a bootable USB stick to create an image of any workstation they need to work on, and restore it quickly whenever necessary. You can read more about it here.


Due to the open nature of educational environments and budget limitations, education is an easy target. There are clear indicators showing rates of malware attacks increasing every year. As cyber threats become more permeate and sophisticated, backup and digital security should be considered a critical investment for these institutions along with a security and best procedures educational program.

We know that data loss should be the last of the worries when education is what matters. That’s why we’ve created an exclusive discount for the education sector. Do you want to find out more? Contact one of our resellers here to get a quote or email us at [email protected].

About Macrium Software

Macrium Software provides comprehensive backup and DR solutions for home or businesses which are used worldwide to protect valuable data and operating systems. Using advanced disk imaging technology Macrium solutions provide fast reliable and easily recoverable images. With many millions of users worldwide, Macrium is a trusted and reliable solution for all data protection needs.


Next Post

Why is healthcare a target for ransomware?