Education sector turns to AI to defend millions of students’ data and research as they learn remotely


Darktrace, the world’s leading cyber AI company, has announced that more education institutions around the world are using Darktrace’s cyber AI technology to safeguard systems, student data and sensitive research from cyber-attackers as they rapidly transition to remote learning.

Last month, a university in the UK was hit with an attempted ransomware attack – a kind of malware attack that strikes in seconds and blocks access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid to hackers. Hackers tried to gain access to staff and students’ computers using their own devices via an externally facing server – using a mechanism typically used by IT teams to remotely diagnose and resolve problems on employees’ computers. Once they gained a foothold, in an instant Darktrace AI spotted the attacker attempting to move laterally and log into devices in order to encrypt files that were later revealed to be PhD student research papers. Having identified the abnormal behaviour associated with the ransomware attack, Darktrace’s AI interrupted the malicious activity precisely, without disrupting the university’s normal practices.

With the use of EdTech on the rise, the personal data of students and staff, the painstaking work of researchers, as well as the very systems that make remote learning possible, are increasingly at risk in a world where data can be compromised more easily than ever.

“We are seeing more and more attacks aiming to undermine data integrity and in turn, organizational reputation, which can erode trust in the education sector itself,” commented Richard Jenkins, Head of information Risk Management, Cyber Security and Governance at the International Baccalaureate. “When it matters most, we can trust that Darktrace’s AI will fight back against fast-moving attacks in seconds but crucially also spot subtle and stealthy attacks, allowing us to have full confidence in the programmes we provide.”

Other organisations in the sector leveraging Darktrace’s AI technology include Eton College in the UK, Salve Regina University in the US and Girton Grammar School in Australia.


Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security.