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Cheltenham Grammar School Among Those Targeted by Hacking Group Vice Society

Pates Grammar School in Cheltenham was among 14 schools targeted in a recent cyber attack, with the BBC reporting that children’s SEN information, child passport scans, staff pay scales and contract details were leaked online by the hacking group Vice Society.

A spokesman for the school told the BBC that it took the security of its systems and data extremely seriously.

Schools and healthcare systems are an increasing target for hackers and this prolific hacking group have already targeted schools in the USA, causing the FBI in America to release an alert on the group’s activities.

We spoke to cybersecurity expert, Steve Bradford, Senior Vice President EMEA, SailPoint:

“Cyber criminals have never been so ruthless in their pursuit for sensitive information, and unfortunately the breaches of 14 schools are part of a string of attacks we’re seeing on critical sectors like education.

“Cyber-attacks on the educational sector cost around £620,000 a year per incident, but the consequences go beyond financial cost, crippling IT systems and causing huge data losses. Schools are at an increased risk when it comes to attack, having hundreds of pupils entering and exiting their environment each year, which exposes them to further threats to resilience and security.

“A core component of any successful security and compliance programme is identity security, regardless of sector. AI-enabled identity security helps fortify organisational defences, detect and flag suspicious behaviour immediately – allowing organisations to clearly see, understand, and manage who has access to what, when and why. This helps to protect all digital identities – pupils, parents as well as staff – which is critical given how prevalent these attacks are today.”