The Rise Of School Ransomware Attacks: How To Minimise The Threat

A padlock surrounded by code securely protecting a school from ransomware attacks.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, UK schools were forced to move large parts of their operations online. In the rush to switch to remote learning, security was often overlooked, leaving schools and colleges across the country vulnerable to attack.

Make an enquiry

This has led to a huge increase in the number of cyber attacks specifically targeted at schools and educational trusts. Successful cyber attacks can result in massive disruption for pupils, with some schools forced to close for days and then deal with weeks of disruption in order to get back on track. To help you protect your school, we’re taking a look at how to prevent ransomware attacks and keep your pupils in the classroom.

Secure Access

Cyber attackers often take advantage of weak points created by remote working and remote learning. If your school uses VPNs or RDP to connect pupils and teachers, you need to ensure you have a secure gateway in place to protect your network against malicious actors. Installing a firewall, or other similar computer security system, will give you added security and help to keep the cyber attackers out.

Endpoint Detection And Response

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) software is a security solution that continuously monitors the devices of end users. It’s used to detect and respond to cyber threats like ransomware and malware. Detecting these threats early can help to protect your system and prevent your school being hit by an attack.


Make sure you stay on top of security updates. This will fix exploitable bugs in the system and help to prevent malware entering your network.

Create An Emergency Strategy

Ransomware attacks on schools are on the rise, so it’s likely your school or trust will be targeted at some point. Create an internal and external communication strategy within an emergency IT plan and make sure all relevant team members are fully aware of the details. Putting together an emergency plan now will ensure you’re prepared for an attack and you will be able to cope if your systems go down.

Contain Attacks Fast

If any malware does get through your defences, it’s essential that you contain the attack fast. After containing the initial attack, eliminate all remnants of the attackers, including their malware, tools and entry methods.


Make sure you backup your data regularly and consistently. Store your backup offsite and offline to keep it virus-free and out of harm’s way. Test your backup and disaster recovery systems and make sure your restore services are working as they should.

Having ransomware in schools IT systems can do a lot of damage very quickly. Protect your school today by getting in touch!

Vantage IT - Telecoms Enquiry CTA Long

Image Source: Canva