If you’re an IT pro responsible for your school’s data, you are likely already facing severe challenges. Threats keep growing, but budgets are always tight—over half (54%) of educators and administrators surveyed say budget is a large or medium barrier in strengthening their institution’s cybersecurity posture. You always have to wring the most out of whatever technology investments you make.
At the same time, ransomware hackers have ramped up their efforts and expanded their arsenal, focusing more of their attacks on schools. The FBI says that at the beginning of the last school year, the majority of ransomware attacks reported—57 percent— involved K-12 schools compared to 28 percent of all ransomware incidents from January through July. While we all might ask ourselves why these bad actors target schools, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) says the answer is straightforward: they want to cause disruptions and steal data. You know the extent of the problem. Now, let’s talk about some of the reasons the cloud should be part of the solution you put in place.
1. Remote and Hybrid Learning Work Better in the Cloud
First and foremost, cloud computing directly helps students, teachers, and administrators. For students, especially in our new world of remote and hybrid learning, the cloud offers access to learning materials with just an internet connection. Teachers can easily upload lessons and directly support their students. And administrators can more easily collaborate to improve the students’ learning experience. Video conferencing capabilities help everyone in education, and it isn’t going anywhere, with 45 percent of parents saying they would still opt for partial virtual learning given the chance.
2. The Cloud Simplifies IT in Education
Managing servers, networks, and devices is time-consuming and can, at times, be overwhelming for IT pros in education. More and more schools are seeing the advantages of outsourcing specific functions or workloads or all of your school’s IT environment to an offsite provider. That means you no longer need to spend time managing servers and buying, maintaining, and ensuring you have enough space on those servers. And the cloud offers administrators predictable costs, a critical need in a time of shrinking school budgets.
3. Security Is Stronger in the Cloud
Unfortunately, all those devices connecting to the cloud also bring added security risks—patches may not be up to date, and the wi-fi being used may not be secure, to name two. And, of course, there are still millions of other attack vectors that could come your way at any time. That’s why the cloud is critical to better data protection: Cloud providers make massive investments in data security. For example, StorageCraft, an Arcserve company, partner Google Cloud automatically encrypts your data in transit outside of physical boundaries not controlled by Google. That adds a new level of security that wasn’t available in the past.
4. Recovery is Always Possible with Immutable Storage
Even if you secure every device, all it takes is a click on a malicious link or attachment to let the bad guys into your network and lock up your data with ransomware. Even worse, hackers are even targeting backups with these attacks today. If your primary data and your backups get locked up, every aspect of education in your school comes to a screeching halt. That’s why StorageCraft recommends that you update your backup strategy to follow the new 3-2-1-1 rule. Put simply, the 3-2-1-1 rule says to keep three copies of your data—primary storage and two backups. Store two copies locally on two formats, and store one copy in the cloud. The extra “1” refers to immutable storage. Stored immutable backups can’t be altered or deleted, so your data is always safe in the cloud and you be confident that you can recover—quickly—from almost any disaster.
It’s hard enough running an IT department in today’s education environment. Isn’t it time you reduced your risks and put a solution in place that ensures your school is safe from ransomware—and every other form of attack? Find out how by talking to a StorageCraft backup and disaster recovery expert today.