Updated: 4 Cybersecurity Tips for Institutes of Higher Education

Since March, things have changed. The post-pandemic world is an increasingly digital one, bringing cybersecurity to the forefront. Everyone is at risk for a cyberattack these days, but as we navigate further in remote learning, institutes of higher education are even more vulnerable targets. 

Here are four cybersecurity tips for institutes of higher education in order to keep your organization safe:

cybersecurity tips for higher education

1. Communication is Key

For example: communication between staff (including professors, administrators and information technology professionals) is key and should always be open and available. Because there is so much pressure put on professors and academic staff to constantly relay information (and not just in the classroom), their inboxes are inundated with emails while they must navigate the red tape of guiding students individually during office hours, etc. The administrative aspect of universities can be overwhelming (we can all mostly remember deliberating over every credit, making sure to graduate on time and in good form) so it’s vital that communication is open between IT professionals and teachers.

There are several methods that hackers may use to obtain sensitive information. One of the most prevalent instances of cyber attacks comes in the form of email phishing scams so it’s incredibly important to be able to recognize these threats and to be prepared when it comes to reporting them. It’s also imperative that a plan be in place that details a course of action in case someone has unknowingly responded to a phishing email scam.

2. Protect Against Incoming Threats and be Prepared

If there’s a hack or a blackout in a computer system that can disrupt intellectual discourse and can completely ruin a day of education and progress. It’s highly important and effective to introduce a way of getting information across in a crisis: set up a system where high-priority messages can be seen and acted upon quickly.

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In this case, desktop alerts are incredibly helpful. Another course of action for the insurance of cybersecurity within institutes of higher education is to filter incoming information. Certain filters and blocks for websites are essential to combatting access to highly sensitive information and can quell the threat of online criminality. We also know that it is a very good idea to have a filter on certain emails (especially those coming from outside the country).

cybersecurity tips for higher education

3. Have a Back-Up Plan

It’s also essential that a comprehensive data backup plan be in place in the case of such an emergency. In order to protect software and keep our electronic data safe from theft and disruption (as well as information services from becoming compromised), it is vital to have a comprehensive recovery plan.

4. Invest in Cybersecurity Education

It’s more important than ever to teach cybersecurity within our schools. Educational programs focused on this very subject prepares learners for the real world. 

A cybersecurity program keeps universities relevant in the digital landscape. Students are looking for tailored academic programs to fit their learning and career needs. By investing in a cybersecurity bootcamp, schools are ultimately investing in their future. Cybersecurity education provides an in-demand program for their community, a new revenue for their organization, and a right step in the world of remote learning. 

It should be on our minds now more than ever that cybersecurity within institutes of higher education is a top priority—and Cybint wants to help you meet your goals. To learn more about bootcamps, schedule a demo.

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Katherine Sloan

Katherine is a New York City-based freelance writer and editor whose work mostly explores art, literary themes and film. She has also most recently forayed into the world of STEM editing. You can read her non-fiction essays at A Gathering of the Tribes and Overture Global.