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Learning how to protect our education institutions

In recent times, we have seen numerous data breaches affecting universities and colleges throughout the UK. Basic human error is often the reason, however, we are seeing more and more hacks from cyber criminals in the #education sector.

Why are #Schools, #Colleges, and #Universities so attractive to #hackers?

⚠ They hold the personal information of their staff, students, guardians, parents, visitors, and suppliers.

⚠ Higher Education institutions that carry out research (especially linked to the government) hold very sensitive data.

⚠ Traditionally the sector has seen a lack of investment in IT security and has been under the misapprehension that they would be ‘of little interest’ to #cybercriminals.

So how can education establishments protect themselves from hackers? CentriVault has 5 tips on how the sector could be better prepared:

✅ Phishing targets people via an email or text message and prays on vulnerable and busy people, especially by creating an urgency to click on a link or share information. TRAIN staff and students on how to spot a phishing email and to be more suspicious and careful when asked to share information. For example, hover the mouse over links before clicking them to see where they lead to.

✅ Check who has ACCESS to your network and validate user credentials. Check if new users are who they claim to be. Use 2FA and review this process regularly. Never leave accounts dormant - disable them if they're no longer in use.

✅ Regularly REVIEWING and adapting cybersecurity practices will help to ensure that all security software is regularly updated and tested. This will help to create a good foundation for cyber security and keep confidential information safe. Patch management software, anti-virus, and firewall management should be key areas of focus.

✅ With multiple departments and campuses, this can lead to smaller networks within one establishment. UPDATING the network so it is secure and functional (to also allow for internal data sharing) is critical.

✅ Having a robust INCIDENT RESPONSE plan will ensure you are better prepared to respond to a cyber incident. A Cyber Recovery team with key personnel who have clearly defined roles and responsibilities is vital. Ensuring that you know the actions to take in order to respond will minimise disruption

Taking all the right steps to protect personal and sensitive data, and making the network difficult for hackers to access, along with a response plan to minimise damage and disruption in the face of a cyberattack, will enable education establishments to be prepared for the worst.


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