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Brit universities hit in Blackbaud hack inform students that their data was nicked

Data Breach

British universities are waking up to last week’s ransomware attack on cloud CRM purveyor Blackbaud – though it appears some haven’t realised the American software company paid the ransom.

As hack notifications started filtering through the world of student and alumni relations management software, news reports emerged this week of universities alerting people to a supply chain attack.

The BBC put together a list of UK institutions subscribing to Blackbaud services. Of those, a dozen had been affected – including the Universities of York, Leeds, Manchester and Exeter among others – while five, including Queen’s University Belfast and University College London, said they had not.

Blackbaud was struck by ransomware in May that locked up files on its “self-hosted” systems and not those running on AWS or Azure cloud environments. As the company admitted in a statement two months later: “Because protecting our customers’ data is our top priority, we paid the cybercriminal’s demand with confirmation that the copy they removed had been destroyed.”

According to the law, under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the company is supposed to report a significant data breach to data authorities within 72 hours. Both the UK and Canada data authorities were made aware of a data breach only last week.

ICO (UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office) spokeswoman said: “Blackbaud has reported an incident affecting multiple data controllers to the ICO. We will be making inquiries to both Blackbaud and the respective controllers, and encourage all affected controllers to evaluate whether they need to report the incident to the ICO individually.”

New-school security awareness training can create a culture of security within your organisation, enabling your employees to identify phishing emails and instilling in them the importance of multi-factor authentication.

With thanks to the Cyber Defence Alliance and the Register. The full story is here: https://www.theregister.com/2020/07/24/blackbaud_uk_universities_data_breaches/

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