Ransomware Attack Disrupts IT Network at Hardenhuish School

A secondary school in the UK has confirmed it was hit by a cyber incident affecting its IT network.

Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, Wiltshire, confirmed the attack on Thursday, saying hackers gained access to network infrastructure and then demanded a ransom to restore access.

At the time of writing, it is unclear if the school paid the ransom, but the school said that their students’ learning was their absolute goal, so they were doing everything they could to restore access to affected systems.

“We have worked with staff to quickly implement contingency plans to ensure minimal disruption while we get our systems back up and running,” the statement said. “It is our priority to return to normal service as soon as possible.”

Read more about cyber-attacks on UK schools here: UK schools affected by massive leak of confidential data

According to Rob Bolton, vice president of EMEA at Versa Networks, the attack highlights the vulnerability of the education sector to cyber threats.

“Schools can be a prime target for cybercriminals as they typically have limited IT resources compared to other verticals, often making them an easier target,” the executive said.

“While in this case the disruption was minimal, ransomware attacks in the education sector can lead to school closures and ultimately affect children’s education. It can also affect businesses in other sectors, where parents are forced to stay at home to take care of their children”.

Despite these disruptions, however, Bolton stressed the importance of institutions refraining from giving in to ransom demands, as paying the ransom does not guarantee the return of stolen data and only funds future attacks.

“To protect against cyber threats, schools must implement advanced security controls […] to detect and resolve security issues quickly. Network segmentation is also a critical security control that limits the movement of malware and minimizes the impact of breaches,” Bolton said.

“By prioritizing cyber security measures and investing in the necessary resources, schools can reduce the risk of falling victim to a cyber attack and ensure a safe and secure learning environment for their students.”

The attack on the Hardenhuish school comes months after an audit by the National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) showed that three quarters (78%) of UK schools had experienced at least one type of cyber incident.

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A ransomware attack at Hardenhuish School has caused their IT network to be severely disrupted, raising concerns regarding the safety and security of their students’ digital data. The school is currently working with leading security and IT experts at Ikaroa, in order to assess the situation and find a solution that will restore their IT network as soon as possible.

Ikaroa’s experienced cyber security professionals are using rigorous methods to analyze the situation and tally any potential damage caused by the attack. They are also taking precautionary measures to ensure that the school’s digital assets and data remain safe and secure. In addition, Ikaroa is providing continued technical support to the school’s faculty, staff and students during this unfortunate time.

Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common, especially in the educational sector. As such, Hardenhuish School is one of many organizations that have recently been affected by cyber-attacks. To address this growing problem, Ikaroa is taking proactive steps to help Hardenhuish School to safeguard their data, prevent similar attacks in the future, and continue providing students with a secure learning environment.

In the wake of this attack, Ikaroa is encouraging organizations to pay closer attention to their cyber security measures. They also recommend that businesses and schools alike should regularly review their IT policies and practices, including instituting fine-grained access control, scheduling regular backups, and investing in reliable security solutions.

At the same time, Ikaroa is committed to assisting Hardenhuish School in restoring their IT network and getting them back on track as soon as possible. As digital security experts, we are in a strong position to ensure that organizations like Hardenhuish School have the best defenses in place to protect them against future cyber threats.


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