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With high enrollment numbers, exchanges of data between departments, a high usage of mobile devices, and a lack of cybersecurity training for faculty, school systems are ripe targets for cyberattacks.
Making matters worse, school leadership is reluctant to admit when their data has been breached because of their implied responsibility to protect it.
College networks, in particular, are prime targets. They function like small cities, with a wealth of personal information and few safeguards in place to protect their data. Colleges store everything from Social Security numbers to financial and health records, to valuable intellectual property.
Many university systems also have their own medical centers, which are highly desirable targets.
The Ponemon Institute, an independent research company on data security, has determined that the average cost of a cybercrime in education is $3.89 million annually.
Cybersecurity is a constant challenge for all industries, but the education sector has unique challenges in safeguarding the personal information of every student.
Universities and K-12 school systems across the country are being targeted with ransomware, which puts operations at great risk. In most cases, the schools that suffered an attack had to pay a ransom to the hackers to remove the malware and resume normal operations.
Overseeing all of the potential weak points in a network is no small task.
Hacking and ransomware is likely to be a significant long-term problem for educational facilities. Greater attention and the latest technology must be applied to school systems, especially universities, to detect attacks and be prepared to respond, quickly and appropriately.
Schools must identify, contain, and eradicate intrusions already in their networks and expel them to protect their operations, data, and reputations.
That's why Cybersafe takes a proactive, not reactive, approach to security. Protection requires 360-degree security.