U.S. schools and colleges spent $3.56 billion in estimated downtime and recovery costs from ransomware attacks last year, according to CNET. Such significant costs have been reported by Comparitech even after double-digit percentage declines in the number of individual ransomware attacks aimed at educational institutions across the U.S., the number of affected schools and colleges, and the number of impacted students. The findings also showed that ransomware-related downtimes lasted four days on average, while recovery spanned nearly a month on average. Ransomware attacks against educational entities are expected to be lower this year, with documented attacks, as well as downtime and recovery timeframes on the decline, according to researchers. "While hackers may be becoming more targeted in their approach, the lower downtime figures suggest schools are more prepared for these attacks and are better able to restore their systems from backups or mitigate the effects of the attacks," wrote researchers.