Hackers Take Schools To School

Nearly two-thirds of schools suffer two breaches or more per year, Panda Security study says



Some 63 percent of K-12 schools say they have experienced at least two security breaches in the past year, according to a new study, and their IT administrators are struggling to find the resources they need to keep up with security tasks.

According to the "Panda Security Kindergarten-12 Education IT Security Study," which was published today, many schools are struggling to find the time and resources they need to build out their security programs.

"Schools struggle 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," the study says. "Twenty-nine percent indicate that the IT staff have other priorities that take precedent over IT security system upgrades."

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 so daily. Ninety percent of schools install antivirus and/or anti-malware on computers, according to the survey, but nearly 25 percent fail to use firewalls, block high-risk websites, or employ user authentication.

Twenty-nine percent of schools allow students unlimited access to social media sites, while 32 percent deny access to students altogether, the survey says. Eighty-two percent of schools allow students and staff to connect PCs and laptops to the school network, but only 74 percent are monitoring the use of external devices.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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