Universities and other higher education establishments are at risk of data breaches and possible malware threats , the same as all big organisations. From any cyber criminals perspective, schools and universities represent a big target. Personal and financial data within university data systems are very valuable to cyber criminals. 

The possibilities of all data thefts are huge – reputational, legal , economic and operational. Future funding could be affected as well as a possible loss of student fees and associated income in the future. 

Prosecution and other penalties could also arrive, or losing sensitive data. Even the infrastructure could sustain significant damage that damages the activities of the institution.

A malware attack was so vicious a Minnesota ah lol had to shut down completely for a full day. Repairing this could take weeks and it could have been avoided.

A crypto-ransomware attack encrypted the entirety New Jersey school network very recently. The source the this infection is still unclear but it may have been that a someone opened a malicious email attachment or an unsafe app or even just visited a website with malicious advertisements.

The nature of the university campus and network is the huge differences between higher-education establishments and the corporate network. Made up of a lot of dispersed networks and the university network infrastructure is so often complex. There are certain environments where the concept of tight data security has traditionally been unhelpful or, in some cases , unwanted. When a big institute thrives on the free exchange of data and ideas, it isn’t easy to apply the same high tech security measures larger companies can. 

In the cases of cyber criminals targeting educational organisations timing is critical. The new school year always means scammers are segmenting their email data bases to launch calculated and planned attacks as soon as students and employees come back online. Every year scammers launch new spam and phishing campaigns , fake welcome emails , password reset emails, and banking noticifations are just a small amount of ways spammers use to infiltrate your data. 

The internet has provided the education sector with some great and unique opportunities and some major headaches. Educators continue to come up with the best way to help kids use the internet to do with school whilst protecting them from an array of online dangers. 

And blocking inappropriate content doesn’t have to block learning too. As students spend a lot more time connected to the web ensuring this time is spent safely is vital. By scanning the page content , WebTitan’s content engine can keep up with the ever changing nature of the web. 

Educational Institutions need to filter for the following reasons:

  • Student safety  – protection from dangerous, inappropriate or illegal sites
  • Network security
  • Identify  cyberbullying
  • CIPA compliance
  • Application of  Acceptable internet Usage Policies
  • Control bandwidth 
  • Ability to monitor

It is your vital duty as an education establishment to provide a safe and effective learning environment. Schools are legally obliged to demonstrate reasonable and proper measures to control access to the internet. There is a fine balance on what has to be allowed and what possible security measures can be put in place. Security in all organisations, commercial of academic is a trade off between the likelihood and possible impact of an attack and the financial cost or loss of utility thay age incurred in defence.