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Cyberattacks on the Rise: Is Your Antivirus Fully Protecting Your School?

Preparing for a new school week, Aubrey logs onto their computer to access this week’s teaching material. Clicking on a folder, a message appears on-screen stating that access has been denied until a sum is paid to unlock the data. To check that it isn’t a mistake another team member checks their files, only to be met with the same message. Phoning IT support the school discovers that they have been hit by a Ransomware attack. The news gets worse. Both staff and students are unable to access any files until the ransom is paid, or their data is restored from a backup.

The Department for Education (DfE) advises that schools do not pay a ransom to cybercriminals. Therefore, the school is reliant on their USB backups having survived the attack. As their backups were not isolated from the school’s network there is a slim chance of data recovery. If the backups were held in the cloud, data recovery would be assured. Therefore, limiting any disruption to teaching and learning.

As cybercrime targeted against the UK education sector grows the DfE has alerted schools to urgently review their cyber defences. If Aubrey’s school had reviewed its cybersecurity, it would have highlighted a weakness in the school’s current traditional antivirus solution. Upgrading to a modern next-generation antivirus could have prevented the incident altogether.

Is your school still relying on traditional antivirus for protection from malicious threats? Discover how deploying a modern next-generation antivirus can better protect your school.

How Can I Protect My School Against Current, Future, and Unknown Attacks? 

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As schools hold large amounts of sensitive and critical data it’s important your cyber defences can detect modern threats. In a recent survey, 36% of primary schools and 58% of secondary schools identified a cybersecurity breach or an attack in the last year. Of these, 41% of primary schools and 48% of secondary schools also reported being negatively impacted because of an attack1. However, not included in these statistics is the number of hidden attacks that go unidentified. In the first quarter of 2021, 74% of malware attacks were undetected by traditional antivirus solutions2

The weakest point in an organisation’s IT security is often an endpoint (computer or server). In the last year, 68% of organisations experienced a security breach that was initiated from an endpoint device3. Deploying a next-generation antivirus on an endpoint can help prevent the effects of malicious attacks. It enables threats to be shut down quickly, reducing any disruption to staff and pupils.

Carbon Black is a next-generation antivirus (NGAV), endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution that protects against a range of modern cyberattacks. It allows for the rapid detection and response to cyber threats that would otherwise bypass traditional antivirus. Our Carbon Black solution consists of the following elements.


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Next Gen Antivirus (NGAV)


NGAV takes traditional antivirus to the next level. Using predictive analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can prevent both known and unknown malicious attacks.

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Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR)


EDR goes one step further. It not only detects threats and stops them, but it also analyses events and attempts to restore your files without any input.

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Managed Detection (MDR)


An experienced team at our partner’s security operations centre is ready to immediately respond and contain any potential threats, preventing attacks from causing untold damage.

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Audit & Remediation


Events are qualified and remediated within minutes, rather than hours or days, securing your network quickly.


What Are the Benefits of Choosing Carbon Black to Protect My School?

As cyberattacks continue to develop, traditional antivirus protection can still leave you wide open to attack. As traditional antivirus relies on a database of known malware it is limited in detecting new emerging threats. There are an estimated 350,000 new malware variants released each day2.  This means a new form of malware could easily slip through your defences undetected as databases are only updated once a threat is discovered. Carbon Black is not tied to any known malware databases and uses machine learning and AI to identify emerging threats. This means it can protect your school from malware, ransomware, zero-day, and non-malware attacks.

Carbon Black offers a range of benefits to help improve your school’s cybersecurity:

  • Protection from modern known and unknown attacks
  • Provides clear alerts and prioritisation of potential attacks
  • Allows for greater visibility and easier investigation into security incidents in real-time
  • A reduced mean time to detect (MTTD) and faster mean time to resolution (MTTR) allows for attack events to be qualified and remediated in minutes, rather than hours or days
  • A lightweight next-generation antivirus that won’t slow your users down
  • Reduces additional expense as no extra infrastructure is required
  • Easily scalable depending on your school’s current needs
  • Our partner’s MDR team is based within ISO27001 accredited facilities, perfect for OFSTED compliance

Replace Your School’s Outdated Antivirus with Carbon Black!

Secure your sensitive data against advanced cyberattacks with NCI Technologies. We partner with leading cybersecurity providers that enable us to offer a comprehensive range of IT security solutions. To find out more contact our friendly sales team or call us on 01326 379 497.



The initial paragraph of this blog is a work of fiction. Names, characters, schools, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.




3 Ponemon Institute 2020 State of Endpoint Security Risk sponsored by Morphisec, January 2020




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