UK universities get hacked ‘once every hour’

Two-thirds of universities say their own students are threats to data security

One third of UK universities are getting hacked every hour, leaking research data and students' information, it has been claimed.

An overwhelming 87 per cent have experienced cyber attacks, with 27 per cent fearing their on-premise security measures are inadequate, according to VMware's survey of 75 IT decision makers at 50 UK universities.

A quarter told the virtualisation firm they have had critical research data accessed by malicious actors, while 43 per cent confirmed hackers have stolen student data such as exam results.

The majority of respondents, who included CIOs and CISOs, said universities should divert more funding to tackling cyber attacks, but 63 per cent pointed to their own students as security threats.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Tim Hearn, director of UK government and public services at VMware, said: "While UK universities continue to be world class in terms of quality of teaching and student experience, many risk falling behind in terms of IT security.

"In many cases, the strategy for dealing with the wave of cyber attacks needs to be urgently re-addressed to effectively protect sensitive student information, as well as valuable research data."

Reputational damage (79 per cent) and national security threats (77 per cent) are the worst consequences of data breaches, according to the respondents.

But three-quarters also warned that they had had to stop research projects as a result of a successful hack. 

The news comes a month after hundreds of students' personal details were leaked on the University of Greenwich's website, including medical information and mobile phone numbers.

The university reported the breach to the Informaiton Commissioner's Office, which is investigating the issue, while the institution is running its own "robust review" of the incident.

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/data-insights/data-management/354423/eu-us-data-transfer-tools-used-by-facebook-ruled-legal
data management

EU-US data transfer tools used by Facebook ruled legal

19 Dec 2019
Visit/backup/33385/arcserve-udp-9240dr-review-beef-up-your-backups
backup

Arcserve UDP 9240DR review: Beef up your backups

4 Apr 2019

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/354577/data-protection-fines-hit-ps100m
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Data protection fines hit £100m during first 18 months of GDPR

20 Jan 2020