In the News | After a Cyber Attack: Dos and Don’ts for Higher Education IT Staff

This article was originally published in Campus Technology on 5.10.23 by Charlie Sander, CEO at ManagedMethods.

For most colleges and universities, it’s a question of when, not if, they will experience a cyber attack. Here are seven key considerations for handling the aftermath of a breach.

There is a treasure trove of sensitive and valuable information in higher education information systems that is tantalizing to hackers of all kinds. With networks that store the financial details of every student, faculty, staff member, alumni, research partner, and more such as names, addresses, social security numbers, passports, and healthcare data, colleges and universities are attractive targets. In fact, it is thought that an individual’s educational records are worth around $265 on the black market.

Higher education in particular has a more “open access” culture and infrastructure than other organizations of similar size and complexity. Academic institutes employ various devices for recruiting, teaching, research, data storage, and other activities. Students, too, bring their own mobile devices to school for research and note-taking.

This substantially increases the vulnerability of the institution to attack. Unfortunately, despite their knowledge of how to use devices, students are often uninformed of the importance of cybersecurity. Many of their personal devices lack the proper security protocols, and if they connect to their school’s WiFi, it can make it easier for hackers to breach the institution’s network without the proper configurations and monitoring.


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