Strong policies, a commitment to ongoing training of all key stakeholders and up-to-date digital security technology are all central elements of protecting critical campus information from data breaches.
The need for robust cybersecurity is at the top of many organizations priority lists. As more and more of our daily lives are moved online, it is essential to be as safe as possible when it comes to digital records, personal information, and more. Hackers are constantly at work with the goal of stealing valuable data, and only organizations that are committed to investing in cybersecurity will be able to stay one step ahead of the game.
While the hacking activities have always been evident for businesses, it is now an issue for institutions of higher learning as well. Higher education institutions are vulnerable to losing personal information of students, faculty, and staff, as well as valuable intellectual property such as patents awarded to professors and students. They report astounding rates of cyber attacks, with millions of hacking attempts into information systems. Because of the drastic increase in the frequency of cyber attacks on institutions of higher learning, the need to be proactive and vigilant against cyber threats has never been greater.
Why are colleges and universities systems a perfect target for cyber-attacks?
The environment in which higher education institutions operate, and the data that they store, is what makes them attractive targets for hackers and other digital criminals. Universities are often more open and collaborative than most businesses. While the information within private sector companies is typically only accessible to employees, university data is shared with academics all over the world. Students and professors access resources via their own devices while universities maintaining little or no control over these personal devices.
The campuses of higher education institutions are, often, like mini cities, possessing massive amounts of data, including personal information about students, faculty, staff, and donors, making them tempting targets for a cyber attack. As a result of ever-increasing educational needs and competition in the sector, the volume and types of data collected continue to grow. And this growing wealth of confidential student and faculty data carries more risk to higher education institutions, as they become targets for identity theft or the stealing of financial information.
They also may become targets if their research departments are developing intellectual property that might become valuable products, like prescription drugs, or might be used by government agencies. In recent years, there has been an exponential rise in the number of cyber attacks on higher education institutions.
How Can You Protect Your Campus from Hackers?
Increase and Update Security Systems
First, you should increase your security systems. While it won’t stop all hackers, having an up-to-date firewall and virus scan will make it more difficult for them to access sensitive data. Plus, you must keep your systems up-to-date because it will also help prevent users from downloading unsafe software.
Security Awareness Training
In addition to increasing and updating systems, security awareness training should be a top priority. Teaching students and staff to identify a breach or a phishing email is imperative for keeping your information safe. And it is always better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to cybersecurity.
Restrict Access to Data
Always make sure to restrict access to sensitive student data. The institutional staff needs to be vigilant in authenticating network users and monitoring for unauthorized access.
Partner with an Experienced Service Provider
Colleges and universities should be partnered with experienced service providers capable of not only delivering advanced digital security solutions but also sustaining ongoing investment in them, thereby ensuring their ability to meet the needs of a continuously evolving set of institutional requirements and an escalating threat landscape.
At the end of the day, selecting the right service provider for cybersecurity is a critical step toward realizing value from a digital transformation strategy.
Naesys meets the security needs of higher education institutions by preventing cyber threats, as well as keeping sensitive data safe by building a secure, high-performance digital learning and research network. To find more about how Naesys cybersecurity solutions can help colleges and universities, visit http://naesys.com/digital_security-inn.html.