The secret behind ensuring complete security of your campus data revealed

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While higher education institutions might not be a likely target for cyber attacks but their data is very crucial as it contains some personal and financial information of their students. Many universities have pool of research data, their valuable intellectual property, which they cannot afford to put at stake at any cost. IoT has enabled so many connected devices, in addition to interconnected departments and partnerships, extensive compliance issues and the high degree of sensitivity. Many institutions even promote collaborative principles and the open information exchange. With all these collaborations and communications happening at the same time, institutions across the globe are becoming the soft target of data breaches and cyber crime.

Some of the most prominent reasons of these cyber security issues are many universities fail to enforce security controls on the equipment and gadgets brought by students, which means there are infinite entry points for hackers. Also, the bandwidth provided by universities is very high which simply implies that cyber attackers can easily infringe into their network. According to statistics, in 2018, more than 50 UK universities were hacked and the attackers breached within one to two hours only. In the US, Georgia Tech was hacked and the records of up to 1.3 million faculty and staff were exposed.

With cyber criminals frequently targeting higher education universities, security professionals are facing new challenges, as these institutions currently do not have adequate resources dedicated to combat cyber crime. These institutions keep wondering where to begin the process of building a sound-proof data protection ecosystem.

Creating a secure learning environment

It is high time institutions acknowledge the risk they are operating under and find out ways and means to handle it.
The good news is by identifying various security challenges and taking an incremental approach, you can reduce risk factors and build a competent security ecosystem.

Here are 5 ways in which universities can mitigate the changes of data breach and attain complete data security:

  1. Evaluate your network security
    In order to keep their data safe, universities should regularly test for network vulnerabilities. The software systems of universities and colleges are much more vulnerable as compared to financial institutions. Universities IT departments should regularly run security checks to find out loopholes, if any. They could also install tools available from companies such as Unifyed to scan alert teams about any sort of hacking.
  2. Put right strategy in place
    Universities IT departments should right strategy in place for protecting their IT systems from cyber threats which is based on a proven cyber security framework. Put right tools in place that can protect students’ personal confidential data on behalf of the university.
  3. Restrict personal confidential data
    The universities’ IT department should enable themselves with the right tools that can take care of personal confidential data and make sure that it only available to the staff or the person concerned. There are some tools that restrict the access of certain files or folders to the person accessing the system. Unifyed’s Verify makes sure that personal data remains personal and is not vulnerable to external factors.
  4. Have a backup or continuity plan
    Universities should have a continuity plan in place to respond to data security incidents including significant data breaches or near misses. One use case could be multi-factor authentication that makes sure that only the right person gets access to the system or apps.
  5. Stop cyber threats even before they happen
    Higher education institutions should embed a 360-degree security network that is IoT enebled. Sensors should enable fast threat detection and provide complete visibility into any sort of anomalous behavior.