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Dec 082020
 

The rising threat of cyber security attacks. -- As concerns over the security of online data mount, Indiana University has launched a Cyber Security program that monitors threats to Cyber security attacks have emerged as one of the most significant threats to universities and colleges in recent years. Elsewhere, UK universities in the race to find a vaccine for COVID-19 have found themselves the target of hostile state hackers. The Australian government has also created some useful tools to help companies assess and prepare for cyber security threats. According to SecurityScorecard analysis, overall security protocols are being neglected at colleges and universities. Wagdy Sawahel 08 June 2020. A couple of recent reports I’ve looked at highlight the extent of threats that universities and higher education establishments face from cyber-attack. Informed by my experience of two significant data breaches at the University of Greenwich, where I am vice-chancellor, this blog describes the most significant cyber security risks and offers advice for senior leaders and board members about how to mitigate cyber threats and the potential impact.. Many senior university leaders and board … Do you have a good understanding of cyber security threats and their potential impact? Where are these gaps most likely to be found in universities and what does that mean for the IT security teams trying to defend the network and data? 8. While college leaders will no doubt have welcomed the recent announcement of £400 million in government funding, the boost comes as the first increase to base rate funding for students since 2013.It’s clear that resources have been limited and staff spread thinly as a result. Thirdly, we made rapid changes to digital policy, access and training and restricted rights that inconvenienced and annoyed some people. Emerging online threats and tough new penalties for data breaches are forcing universities to take cyber security more seriously than ever, says Kamal Bechkoum April 14, 2018 Kamal Bechkoum The credit rating agency characterized cyberrisks for the sector as “medium.” While colleges' vulnerability to cyberattacks is high, the “financial and reputational impacts” of these attacks are low, the report said. More cyberattacks coming from China, specifically targeted at colleges and universities, highlights how important cybersecurity defenses are for these institutions. However, the consequences for the university were significant. Why Are Organizations Failing to Report Cybercrime? while some university and college leaders are confident they have a high-level executive view of cyber security, many are concerned that they need to know more. Universities are a tempting target for adversaries, ranging from nation-state threat actors in search of intellectual property to common cyber thieves looking to make some easy money. Many senior university leaders and board members are increasingly worried about the rising threat of cyber security attacks. The features that help universities to collaborate and thrive, such as open, information-rich websites, ubiquitous connectivity and collaborative platforms for students and staff - also leave them particularly vulnerable to cyber-threats. In the aftermath of these data breaches we took a number of specific actions: Similar problems also occur in the corporate world and over the course of the past 18 months, some of the biggest, most widespread, data breaches in the history of the Internet have hit the headlines. The report is not written from a technical perspective. Northumbria University was a founding member of the Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security, while De Montfort is an Airbus Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security … But there are limited options to you at the present because offering cyber security courses require a lot of professional expertise and a large budget that not many universities … 3. Read more here. These include disruption to the functioning of a university network, through to more general and targeted attempts Cyber security has long been a challenge for universities, and demonstrating that you take it seriously is now a prerequisite of grant funding and government contract applications. The Cyber Security Risk Self-Assessment Tool is a 20-minute test that will help gauge if your business is a likely target for cyberattacks, and show how developed your current cyber security practices are. When universities aren't centralized, it's more challenging to to govern data security, Turner said. Combined with the fact that the security of universities may be seen by an attacker to not be especially advanced, this makes them an attractive hit. This is not always the case. ... experts see 5 serious cyber threats that everyone should know about when sending their kids off to college. Although it is clear that the information breaches occurred, there is no evidence that people were directly affected in any material way. Fortunately, there are practical things that IT security teams can do to strengthen or recover their defences, and many organisations able and willing to help. Background The cyber security problem facing universities 3 2. the CyBeR seCuRIty pRoBlem fACIng unIveRsItIes Universities face a variety of cyber security threats. Do you have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan in the event of a major cyber security incident and have you tested it. A new project to enhance the cybersecurity of Australia’s universities will be headed up by RMIT’s new centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation (CSRI) with the University Foreign Interference Taskforce (UFIT). The risk of cyber attacks to the education sector have become more sophisticated and more frequent, EY's analysis of the sector and its weaknesses gives insight into the best practices for institutions to safeguard against a variety of possible breaches that endanger the security of student, staff and institutional data. That said, with a degree in cyber security you’ll set yourself in an endless pool of highly paid jobs and challenging careers. Symantec’s 2016 report shows that higher education has moved into the number two spot behind healthcare in terms of the number of attacks. Many of these platforms remain in place for the new academic year. There is a very good reason for this. The BRC recently launched a cyber security ‘toolkit’ for retailers that provides businesses of all sizes with a practical, step-by-step guide to prevent and manage cyber security threats and protect the customers they serve. For defenders this means that data needs to be protected not just from outsiders at the perimeter, but everywhere inside the network too. Sophos recommends that as soon as practicably possible, university IT teams or their outsourced partners review the configuration and software update status of infrastructure and devices put in place at the start of lockdown – and correct anything that they missed before. The last few months have seen several major UK universities hit by cyber-attacks, including ransomware. Cybersecurity challenges abound in higher education. This should include phishing simulation tests to show them what a phishing email looks like. The top risks for educational institutions include phishing, harassment, ransomware, IP theft (piracy), account hacking, credit card fraud and denial of service attacks. COVID-19 brings new cyber-security threats to universities. The features that help universities to collaborate and thrive, such as open, information-rich websites, ubiquitous connectivity and collaborative platforms for students and staff - also leave them particularly vulnerable to cyber-threats. News / Security / How to defend your university against top cyber security threats With cyber security a growing issue, creating a secure environment for teaching, learning and working online is a high priority for universities. Firstly, we were fined a substantial sum (£120k, reduced to £96k for early repayment). Have you commissioned an honest and detailed independent assessment of your vulnerability to cyber security threats? As cyber security professionals work to increase their knowledge of threats and cyber security information, earning an online cyber security master’s degree can be invaluable. Professor David Maguire is chair of Jisc, appointed in May 2015. Link Security In the case of the BA data breach, some 380,000 credit card transactions were taken and the initial fine was £183m. These systems have very large numbers of users and deal with very valuable and sensitive information. We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website, by For example, in 2012, a student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln broke into the university’s PeopleSoft-based system and gained access to over 650,000 personal records. The CSRI will manage the project as part of a federal government cybersecurity grant of $1.6m announced earlier this year. In 2016, Greenwich had two security breaches that were of sufficient seriousness that they needed to be reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Here’s a short checklist that might help: The targeting of the education sector, students and staff by cyber-attackers is reprehensible at the best of times, to exploit the impact of the pandemic for criminal advantage is even more inexcusable. Secondly, we had to respond quickly to ensure that similar breaches did not occur again. Have you considered adding cyber security to your risk register? Taking a step back for a moment, universities and colleges are at high risk of such threats because they typically have open, permissive, and highly distributed IT systems. Cyber crime is hard to see and touch, it’s growing fast and universities are especially exposed to its impacts, as the recent publication of a report by the NCSC shows. There will also be university staff, some with access to strategic, confidential or sensitive research, whose contact details and research interests are easy to find on the university website, providing malicious actors with everything they need to craft a highly tailored phishing attack. Informed by my experience of two significant data breaches at the University of Greenwich, where I am vice-chancellor, this blog describes the most significant cyber security risks and offers advice for senior leaders and board members about how to mitigate cyber threats and the potential impact.

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