Study: 63 Percent of Schools Suffer IT Security Breaches Twice a Year

A study by Panda Security found that 63 percent of schools experience malware outbreaks or unauthorized user access at least twice a year. These results indicate that IT security is a resource-heavy, time-consuming effort that schools struggle to manage efficiently.

The study, which surveyed more than 100 individuals who manage IT security at K-12 school districts in the United States, examines security practices and top security concerns in schools and school districts.

With malware on the rise and new threats propagated through social media every day, having the right security tools in schools has never been more important. According to the survey, 64 percent of schools have experienced significant downtime, reporting at least two incidents in the last year.

Schools are also struggling to upgrade IT security systems, with 72 percent identifying budget constraints as the primary barrier to advancement, and 38 percent identifying a lack of staff for these initiatives. Twenty-nine percent indicate that the IT staff has other priorities that take precedent over IT security system upgrades.

"While the Internet is an invaluable tool for education, it can cause serious interruptions to day-to-day operations if schools fail to properly address security concerns," said Rick Carlson, president of Panda Security U.S. "The findings of the Kindergarten-12 Education IT Security Study point to a clear need for a security solution that effectively balances cost, time management and superior protection."
 
The study identifies the following key concerns for IT security in K-12 schools:

  • Security issues consume staff time, diverting attention from the business of education. IT administrative staff at 38 percent of schools report removing viruses or malware from IT systems a few times a week, and 21 percent are doing this daily.
  • While schools have baseline IT security best practices in place, there is still room for improvement. Ninety percent of schools install anti-virus and/or anti-malware on computers, but nearly 25 percent fail to use firewalls, block high-risk websites or employ user authentication.
  • Social media is a top concern for schools, but the stringency of school policy varies greatly. Ninety-five percent of schools have a social media policy in place, citing the mitigation of malware-related risks as a main reason for implementation. Twenty-nine percent of schools allow students unlimited access to social media sites, while 32 percent deny students' access altogether.
  • Schools recognize outside devices introduce external risks but they struggle to fully integrate security policies for multiple devices. Eighty-two percent of schools allow students and staff to connect personal computers and laptops to the school network, but only 74 percent are monitoring the use of external devices. Fifteen percent fail to take any additional security measures, leaving those school systems more vulnerable to infection.


Featured

  • President Biden Issues Executive Order to Bolster U.S Port Cybersecurity

    On Wednesday, President Biden issued an Executive Order to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, alongside a series of additional actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity and more Read Now

  • Report: 15 Percent of All Emails Sent in 2023 Were Malicious

    VIPRE Security Group recently released its report titled “Email Security in 2024: An Expert Look at Email-Based Threats”. The 2024 predictions for email security in this report are based on an analysis of over 7 billion emails processed by VIPRE worldwide during 2023. This equates to almost one email for everyone on the planet. Of those, roughly 1 billion (or 15%) were malicious. Read Now

  • ASIS Announces ANSI-Approved Cannabis Security Standard

    ASIS International, a leading authority in security standards and guidelines, proudly announces the release of a pioneering American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standard dedicated to cannabis security. This best-in-class standard, meticulously developed by industry experts, sets a new benchmark by providing comprehensive requirements and guidance for the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance of a cannabis security program. Read Now

  • ISC West Announces Keynote Lineup

    ISC West, in collaboration with premier sponsor the Security Industry Association (SIA), announced this year’s dynamic trio of speakers that will headline the Keynote Series at ISC West 2024. Read Now

    • Industry Events

Featured Cybersecurity

Whitepapers

New Products

  • QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    The latest Qualcomm® Vision Intelligence Platform offers next-generation smart camera IoT solutions to improve safety and security across enterprises, cities and spaces. The Vision Intelligence Platform was expanded in March 2022 with the introduction of the QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC), which delivers superior artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing at the edge. 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • 4K Video Decoder

    3xLOGIC’s VH-DECODER-4K is perfect for use in organizations of all sizes in diverse vertical sectors such as retail, leisure and hospitality, education and commercial premises. 3