A cyber-attack is an attempt to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal or gain unauthorised access to a computer system, infrastructure, network, or any other smart device. The most targeted industries are healthcare, education, manufacturing, and local governments.
If a school, such as a university, is known for thorough research and academic publications, a cyber-attack can greatly impact the reliability of the research. It may also cause other teaching tools and personnel details to be compromised. Between personal information, endowments, and influential studies, such institutes hold valuable information that hackers want.
These types of assaults can set students back. Imagine trying to host an IT course with faulty apps, programs, and computers!
COMMON CYBERSECURITY MISTAKES
Even though there is better alertness of cyber-attacks and threats these days, the number of cases continues to rise. So where are schools going wrong?
INSUFFICIENT SECURITY CONTROLS
Schools are heavily virtualised nowadays, dining hall apps, card tap-ins, and cloud-based tools can all be found at most institutes. Depending on the size of the school, the number of security controls needs can be vast. Many times, schools enhance their technology portfolio but fail to improve their security protocols too.
LOW AMOUNT OF IT STAFF
Budget allocations are commonplace at schools. Every department wants more assets and the IT department usually suffers as a result. Without the required staffing to monitor devices and networks, having security controls will only go so far in protecting personal and academic information.
Many departments offices tend to leave their doors open to create an outlook that makes staff and students alike feel welcomed. From a security angle, however, it can leave information vulnerable as it makes direct access easier. Other common blunders include leaving passwords on nearby sticky notes or clicking on fraudulent email links.
Here are some tips towards improving cybersecurity in your school:
Assess many areas such as cloud platforms, data storage practices, and infrastructure. If a school doesn’t have the personnel or resources ready to perform these checks, they could employ a third-party auditor. During the auditing process, schools should review previous breaches and rank the threat level for common attacks.
It’s always wise to allocate funds towards protection from any future cybersecurity breaches. Due to a perceived lack of defence, schools are one of the most popular targets for hackers.
Schools should make use of the many technologies devised to guard information systems. Security departments will have to do detailed research on the available tools and determine which ones are the appropriate fit. Past and likely attacks should be accounted for when selecting frameworks during the auditing/review process.
Comparing your school’s cybersecurity measures to others will help highlight your flaws or alert you to new security moves in the educational field. It will provide answers to questions such as, Are you meeting the general minimum standards for school cybersecurity?
Let Centerprise International help you! We boast a full suite of scalable, hybrid, state of the art security. So contact us now and liaise with our experts to design and manage your end-to-end risk mitigation strategy that is tailored to meet the needs of your business.