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Learning institutions are considered valuable because of their ability to provide knowledge to the learners and to the hackers. Schools are most valuable because of the data that they can provide or expose. Student grades, employee’s social security numbers, employee bank accounts and other Personal Identifiable Information (PII) are examples of data that makes learning institutions the third most frequently targeted, hence the frequency of attacks increasing by the day. In the first six months of the year 2017, data breaches in schools doubled in number and hit learning institutions of all levels. Public school systems in states such as Texas suffered breaches, which led to the exposure of thousands of student’s data. This further led to the Stanford Graduate School’s data being breached, exposing 14 terabytes of data from financial aid applications and the Medical College of Wisconsin, which further led to compromising of the patient’s data.
A study shows that the majority of schools face high costs as a result of data breaches, which averages at a cost $141 per record but in education, it could typically reach $200 per record. Costs however varies upon the extent of a data breach as well as how much time it takes to identify and contain the particular breach. Unlike other industries, learning institutions rarely experience hidden costs associated with the unexpected loss of customers after a data breach has occurred.