As higher education institutions aim to “open up” their environments to encourage communication and collaboration, the number of data breaches continues to mount, with education now ranked number three in the top 10 sectors breached.
These rising cyber threats endanger IT operations, student and faculty information, as well as sensitive research, and higher education institutions are faced with the very complex challenge of protecting students’ personal information and proprietary institutional data.
In addition, institutions must ensure they are prepared to respond should they fall victim to a cyberattack.
This struggle only becomes more complex as universities more fully embrace mobile technologies. These devices can easily fall into the wrong hands and with limited processing power, mobile devices are reliant on network access and cloud services – making them highly susceptible to network-based attacks and data loss events.
On top of this, sophisticated cyber criminals are constantly honing their tactics for infecting networks, software, and devices.
Some focus on collecting high-value data for as long as possible without detection. Others seek short-term, rapid financial gain – through credit card theft – or use botnets or spam to publicly interfere with daily operations or defame institutions.
Worse still, these attack campaigns can occur over a period of months – or years – completely undetected.
Despite these growing challenges, many universities lack enough IT security staff with adequate skills to detect, assess, and respond to threats.
As the security landscape evolves, threat intelligence is vital for institutions to uncover and respond to cyber threats across endpoints, email, and the network.
To achieve this level of intelligence, educators must implement security solutions that will provide full visibility across the network and allow their institutions to access real-time security data across multiple control points. This insight will enable them to detect malware and prioritize threats to respond to cybersecurity threats with accuracy to quickly remediate.