At least six major universities fell victim to cyberattacks in 2015, putting a renewed focus on information security in 2016.
According to Symantec’s 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, education ranked third among the most-breached sectors, accounting for 10 percent of reported incidents. Healthcare led the pack at 37 percent, while retail came in second, at 11 percent.
A 2014 survey from EDUCAUSE’s Higher Education Security Council found that more than a third of higher ed data breaches stemmed from hackers. That was the case for the University of Connecticut, which found malicious software on several of its servers in March 2015.
The incident resulted in stolen Social Security numbers and credit card information. Pennsylvania State University, on the other hand, suffered three days of network downtime following two cyberattacks between May and June.
This year, colleges and universities will be increasingly diligent about cybersecurity. EDUCAUSE’s 2016 Top 10 IT Issues and Strategic Technologies found that reinvesting in information security remains a top priority of higher ed leaders.
At many institutions, revamped cybersecurity plans may include operating system and firewall upgrades, security analytics deployment and end user security training.
Additional information security best practices will be discussed at the International Quality & Productivity Center’s Cyber Security for Higher Education Summit, set for March 28 through 30. Learn more at cybersecurityhighered.com.