IBM, the American Technology Company, has taken a cybersecurity initiative to improve Ransomware protection in public schools across the United States. The program will be funded solely by the said private entity at a cost of $5 million that will be distributed as a grant across K-12 schools operating throughout the United States.
Aim is to improve the current security posture of schools against ransomware attacks and will be funded by the tech giant as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to develop social, environmental and governance projects.
Ransomware has become a major threat to educational institutions and IBM is planning to audit the digital defense infrastructure of schools and will then create a playbook for response, accordingly.
Additionally, a team of cybersecurity experts will be asked to create awareness among students and staff about the current cyber landscape and will train the staff, students and parents in handling communication related services while facing a cyber attack event.
Note 1– Emsisoft Research conducted a study in which it established that over 1000 educational institutions were targeted by ransomware attack in 2021, including schools, colleges, and universities.
Note 2– A separate research carried out by Cisco Talos affirmed that the year 2021 witnessed about 2,323 cyber attacks on government infrastructure belonging to schools, colleges and offices functioning across the United States.
Note 3- Charles Henderson, the Chief of IBM Security X-Force, is urging companies not to pay a ransom when they are hit by ransomware gangs. As it encourages crime and doesn’t guarantee a decryption key for ransom exchange.