Cybercrime has increased by 600% since the start of the pandemic, and higher education institutions are particularly at risk. In fact, 74% of universities have had to halt major research projects due to cyberattacks, 43% have seen student data leaked, and 87% have experienced at least one successful cyberattack.
Cybersecurity is necessary for schools to stay protected. That’s why, as states continue to realize the risk that cyberattacks pose to students and staff, California is providing its community colleges with an additional $100 million in cybersecurity funding this year. To ensure that your school’s cybersecurity is up to standard, cybersecurity audits are essential.
The purpose of a cybersecurity audit
In higher education, cybersecurity audits identify where an institution is most vulnerable. When it comes to cybersecurity, there is no “good enough”. Schools process research data and the personal data of students and faculty, so cyber protection is paramount. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a school’s cybersecurity infrastructure, while ensuring that security measures meet state guidelines and requirements, cybersecurity audits can bring peace of mind to schools. spirit and a recipe for improving safety.
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Cybersecurity audits serve as an external assessment of how your policies, procedures, and network provide a secure environment for your users. This assessment is essential. The more cyber users you have, the more at risk you are.
How universities can better prepare
To best prepare for a cybersecurity audit, institutions need to understand the current state of their security infrastructure. Understanding not only what software is used, but why it is used allows institutions to self-audit before a formal audit and upgrade their security accordingly.
A security framework that helps schools stay prepared is the Zero Trust Security Model. As the name suggests, this model operates on the notion that implicit trust of internal or external executives is a vulnerability, and that it is safer to operate without trusting any of them. Zero trust works. Even when cyberattacks are successful, a zero-trust approach reduces the average cost of a breach by $1.76 million.
LEARN MORE: A proactive approach to avoiding zero-day attacks in higher education.
CDW•G can review and adopt zero-trust security measures and other cybersecurity measures to help prepare universities for cybersecurity audits – which CDW•G also completes. A one-stop-shop for cybersecurity, CDW•G is uniquely suited to help make your school’s cybersecurity as stringent as possible.
This article is part of the EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.