The higher education sector ranks highest among the worst business sectors for handling cyberthreats, with 73% of organizations taking three or more days to apply a patch.—EfficientIP Report released 9/10/2018
The higher ed sector is an attractive target for hackers because of the social security numbers, financial information, medical records, intellectual property, and cutting-edge research data that is maintained, and the “open access” culture.
Campus IT has a real challenge with balancing access to information with cyber security. IT teams are often stretched thin due to limited resources, and proactive measures such as applying security patches and monitoring the network for suspicious behavior either doesn’t happen consistently or in a timely manner…or in worst case scenarios it isn’t being done at all.
Academic leaders have often come up through the ranks of academia to their leadership positions, and have had limited training and experience with cyber risk and the business impact of this risk to the institution. The Ponemon Institute’s research puts the average data breach cost for higher ed at $260 per record, including cost of breach investigation and remediation, notifications, public relations, legal costs, and compensation to affected parties.
Outsourcing patching and leveraging a Managed Security Solutions Provider (MSSP) who can provide the staff and the tools to stay on top of these proactive functions can greatly lessen the potential negative impacts of a preventable attack, or an attack that goes undetected.