Higher Education Industry

Verizon's 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report recorded 382 cybersecurity incidents in the education sector throughout the year, 99 of which had confirmed data disclosures. The report lists financial gain as the leading motive for attackers — 80% of all cyberattacks — with espionage motives following in second place, representing 11% of all attacks.

Web application attacks accounted for roughly a quarter of the breaches in the education sector throughout 2019, mainly resulting from the frequent compromise of cloud-based mail services via phishing links to fraudulent login pages.

IT Security and Compliance for Higher Education

Colleges and universities maintain sensitive information from students, faculty, and donors. Whether you are a community college, technical institute, ivy league school, or liberal arts college, you would not be able to operate without collecting, maintaining, and transmitting sensitive data.

Higher education institutions are attractive targets for cyber attackers as they often possess data including social security numbers, payment card information, student loan details, and protected health information (PHI). On top of the information higher education institutions hold on their students, another significant risk is the intellectual property surrounding research they may be conducting. In recent years, higher education institutes have been targeted by foreign nations looking to steal research data for economic and military advantages. When you combine all this with the fact that many colleges and universities operate in a decentralized environment, the risk of data theft and loss is tremendous.

The higher education sector faces many challenges related to information security, including:

  • Decentralized environments
  • Numerous federal, state, and industry regulations
  • Limited budgets
  • Speed of technology deployment

Higher Education Cybersecurity Solutions

Compass IT Compliance has developed a robust catalog of services focused on mitigating the information security and compliance risks of higher education institutions, including:

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Contact Compass IT Compliance Today

The highly certified experts at Compass IT Compliance have spent the past decade working with private and public colleges and universities of varying size and organizational structure. We are familiar with the Higher Education Community Vendor Assessment Toolkit (HECVAT) questionnaire framework and can assist both schools and vendors. Get in touch with us online or call (401) 353-3024 today to discuss your unique challenges!