Education sector ties with business in number of cyber breaches

According to a new report from Symantec, education accounted for nearly 7 percent of all reported cybersecurity incidents in 2015.

Education is being targeted — and not in a good way, according to a new report.

The education sector accounted for nearly 7 percent of all reported cybersecurity incidents in 2015 — tying with business for the number of incidents related to breaches that occurred, according to the 2016 Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec.

The top subsector suffering the most breaches was health services, according to the report. Others that were hit by hackers include insurance carriers, hotels, restaurants and government agencies.

There were 20 incidents in education and business services, compared with 14 cybersecurity incidents in hotels and lodging, nine incidents in restaurants and bars, and six incidents in the social services.


Stakeholders and leaders in both K-12 and higher education are starting to take note — especially IT departments. Just recently, the International Quality Productivity Center hosted a Cyber Security for Higher Education conference for IT directors to share best practices and discuss challenges, like moving student data to the cloud.

Other schools, like Clemson University, have opened a Cybersecurity Operations Center to help address the possibility of breaches — and try to prevent them.

Reach the reporter at, and follow her on Twitter @clestch and @edscoop_news.

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