A report by KnowBe4 revealed that there has been an increase in cyberattacks against the UK’s higher education institutions. Universities in the UK are common targets for cyberattackers, as they are typically associated with research facilities. These facilities often house personally identifiable data, such as full names or email addresses, making them a valuable target for cybercriminals. In addition to personally identifiable information, these research institutions may also store private research data, making them more attractive than other institutions that collect data.  

Higher education institutions face unique challenges in terms of cybersecurity. With high turnover rates, budget constraints and an onboarding of thousands of students each year, the security of intellectual property can be unintentionally neglected. 

Phishing is the most common form of cyberattack in a higher education setting, followed by online impersonation then various forms of malware. Only 50% of higher education institutions report having a strategy in place for cybersecurity incidents.