UK universities targeted for cyber attacks

VMware today announced research revealing that over a third (36 per cent) of UK universities are under attack by a cyber attack, on not just a daily basis but each hour.

Furthermore, the attacks are so frequent and widespread that 83 per cent of universities believe that cyber attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication.

VMware's research shows that a high percentage of University campuses are being singled out and attacked due to their open architecture.

  • VMware believes that over a third (36 per cent) are experiencing a successful cyber attack each hour and 87 per cent of total universities report experiencing cyber attacks.
  • 25 per cent have had critical research data infiltrated and 43 per cent have had student data such as dissertations attacked.
  • The report reveals that more than 6 in 10 (63 per cent) of UK universities claim domestic students pose the biggest threat to data

VMware's report also shows that confidence is not high within Universities as a quarter of students admit to having critical intellectual property (IP) data infiltrated. This relates to highly confidential and valuable data including national defence, social, economic and medical research.

Furthermore, more than two in five (43 per cent) of respondents confirmed that they have had student IP infiltrated, including dissertation materials and exam results. Respondents believe that some of the greatest threats posed by cyber attacks to the data held by their organisation come internally, with 63 per cent claiming domestic students pose a threat to data.

However, there is also a considerable financial impact, the ramifications of every breach are costly, with 79 per cent citing damage to reputation, 77 per cent a possible impact on national security and almost three quarters (74 per cent) having had to halt a valuable research project.

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