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It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we experienced the year of the healthcare hack. But now that attention has shifted to that industry, hackers are doing their best to identify the next soft target.
Over the last year or two, attacks against the education sector have been on the rise. The problem is that there are a few unique challenges that make cyber security difficult for institutions from K-12 all the way through higher education.
Whether you’re worried about ransomware threats or advanced data breaches, it’s time to reinforce your security and compliance efforts with the help of an MSSP.
When you talked to leaders in the education sector about security—whether they were tech leads or superintendents/advisors—three or five years ago, budget was the biggest concern.
Most institutions didn’t have the money to funnel into cyber security. However, the education sector is looking increasingly vulnerable to attacks and leaders are taking notice. Budget planning is still critical, but the there are two more prominent challenges now:
As focused as the education sector is on delivering powerful connectivity for students, protecting information such as student records, health records, research files, and the like has to be of equal concern.
One reason it hasn’t, is the lack of regulatory enforcement of FERPA for cyber security standards. But as more regulations go into place, it’s only a matter of time before you’re faced with higher scrutiny on security practices, whether it be from leadership or formal audits—partnering with an MSSP can ensure you don’t experience any issues.
Unlike the payment card industry, educational institutions haven’t had to worry about strict auditing processes. But there’s typically been one troublesome issue when it comes to education sector security—if you take government funding and experience a breach, the resulting punishment is loss of funding.
This seems so counterproductive; if an organization experiences a breach with data theft, they clearly need more funding for better security programs. To avoid such a difficult situation, you need to make sure you’re ready to defend your network.
It’s only a matter of time before security compliance audits become standard. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of compliance challenges when you have complicated standards and regulations in place such as:
All of the compliance concerns that come along with these standards and regulations are just more reasons to take cyber security measures out of your own hands.
As your students come in with more and more experience with technology, you can’t afford not to have total visibility into what’s happening on your network. With a limited number of IT staff on hand, computer labs could become accidents waiting to happen. But with the help of an experienced MSSP partner, you won’t have to worry about these issues.
If you want to learn more about partnering with an MSSP—and hear more about how we partner with Garland Technology to guarantee visibility into every bit, byte and packet®—contact Sedara today for a free consultation.
Darrick Kristich is a security professional and founder of Sedara, a managed security service provider. His background primarily stems from the Aerospace & Defense markets and has expertise in technical and security architecture, as well as compliance program development and incident response. He currently resides in Buffalo, NY.