When we think about cyberattacks. We often think they only attack companies and businesses. However, other organizations are also susceptible to cybersecurity threats. On the list of organizations vulnerable to cyberattacks, the education sector surprisingly ranked high. Unfortunately, schools are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than larger companies. They often lack adequate cybersecurity teams, including money, and resources to protect themself against cyberattacks. Cybercriminals attack the education system by causing data breach which can derail their preparation for a new academic year. Also, it allows personal and sensitive records of the university student to fall in the hands of the wrong people.
Over the last decades, many universities and colleges have suffered from numerous data breaches. Most of these breaches are caused by human error and others from sophisticated hacks by cybercriminals. Universities do not only keep personal data of the students, but they often carry out researches which are commissioned by the government. Making the cyberattack risk a national one. Therefore, universities and colleges should educate their student about cyberattacks, invest in information technology security, train their staff, and limit people’s access to their data.
Read on, as Mayur Rele, an expert in cybersecurity and cloud infrastructure with vast experience in different technology companies explains how colleges and universities can protect themself against cyberattacks.
Educate student and staff
One of the most common tools used by cybercriminals is phishing emails. Phishing is a type of cyber scam where cybercriminals contact their target by email, text message, or telephone number in a form of a legitimate company in an attempt to obtain sensitive information from them. The act is becoming more advanced and innocent students are lured into clicking false links every day. Students are targeted through email and text messages which usually have a sense of urgency. This has made them hand over their personal information to cybercriminals. Therefore, training students and staff on how to detect a phishing email or text will help minimize cyberattacks. Here are things you should watch out for in a phishing email
- Poor use of language
- Incorrect URL pathway
- Incorrect spelling of words
- Unusual email address
- Generalized greetings and many more
Invest in information technology system
Many universities and colleges lack the proper resources that will protect them from cyber-attacks. “Personal information about the student such as their postal address, date of birth, email address, phone numbers, school resorts, and exam results, and many other details are all saved in the school data. To safeguard these data, it is crucial to invest in cyber hygiene,” says Mayur Rele. “This includes software and antivirus management, creating good security software, and updating it regularly, and many more,” he adds.
Limit software accessibility
Cybercriminals often make use of authenticated profiles to access university data and steal valuable information. Therefore, limiting access to your software and authenticating all credentials before providing access regularly protects your database. This is the work of a cybersecurity expert and they also carry out overall security by
- Gaining access to new users and validating and ensuring they are who they say they are.
- Implementation of an authentication process for both old and new users
- Testing for security gaps and accuracy by reviewing the authentication process regularly.
- Disabling access when they are no longer required.
Minimize damage by acting fast
With the development of advanced methods by hackers to operate, it is clear that no software is free from cyberattacks. Therefore, it is important to act fast if you spot any breach of your software. “Every university and college should have a plan on how to manage their crisis and work together with their security team. This will help reduce any disruption or damages caused by cyberattacks. “Mayur Rele advises.