Lately, universities around the world are experiencing more and more attacks security. According to a report released by the cybersecurity company Redscan, over 50% of UK universities have suffered one infringement data of the previous 12 months.
But why have universities become such an attractive target?
Higher education is particularly attractive to them Criminals of cyberspace because it combines valuable data, information and knowledge. Examples include email, personal information, technical resources, sensitive research data and intellectual property.
In addition, universities have attractive infrastructures, such as high-bandwidth connections through high-capacity cabling and access to expensive resources. Their structures and processes are also inherently complex. All of these factors make them vulnerable.
University information systems also host a variety of users, including academics, professional staff, students and visitors. They have different levels of knowledge and understanding of security in cyberspace and vulnerabilities could be created in them.
Most universities also have networks and older technology systems can be more easily hacked by experienced malicious agents.
What can universities do to improve cyber security?
1. Interaction with all end users. When academics, researchers, students and other users better understand the concept of cybersecurity, they become part of the solution.
2. Information sharing. In the event that a university is attacked, sharing information about the incident can help other institutions deal with or even prevent such incidents.
3. Invest in technology and the human factor. Old systems should, where possible, be replaced or withdrawn, but education and awareness-raising should also be improved and personalized so that users be more careful and better informed.
4. Creating university coalitions to address common cybersecurity challenges. This is especially important for universities that have limited resources and are more difficult to deal with risks.
5. Understanding of assets. Knowing exactly the intellectual capital, its data and the information it has, is important for any educational institution, as this way it will be able to better target its investments in the field of security.