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Cybersecurity for Educational Institutions

Whether you’re a large public university or local community college, Lumifi provides industry-leading managed detection and response cyber security services with an emphasis on white-glove service and first-rate results.

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Protect your educators and students from cyber attacks

Higher education institutions are on the cutting edge of education technology. From advanced online student portals to protecting staff and research data, educational institutions are a prime target for various malicious actors. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Compliance 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. This applies to any educational institution that receives funds under the U.S. Department of Education. 

This protects records for students of the age of 18 attending school beyond the high school level. This prohibits the improper disclosure or tampering of a student’s information, including when a student’s record or file is transferred across email and stored in a school’s database. 

Protecting a faculty, staff, and student information means implementing a strong .edu email policy and requiring multi-factor authentication. 

Uptick in Attacks 

The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) found 562 reported data breaches over 324 higher education institutions between 2005 and 2014. In total, the breaches represented 15.5 million records. 

Bill Mellon of the University of Wisconsin said he was shocked at the volume of hacking attempts when he began overhauling computer security, according to an article in United Press International. 

"We get 90,000 to 100,000 attempts per day, from China alone, to penetrate our system," said Mellon, associate dean for research policy. "There are also a lot from Russia, and recently a lot from Vietnam, but it's primarily China." 

Higher education institutions should be prepared to handle a large volume of attacks, especially universities that have large online operations. 

Nation-state actors have been known to target universities for research data, intellectual property, and other valuable data generated by faculty and students. 

Make sure your department has best-in-class SIEM solutions that have advanced filtering and active threat hunting capabilities. 

Expanding Attack Surface 

Nowadays universities require online registration, student class portals, online educator tools, and financial loan information. This mixture of personal identification including social security numbers, emails, phone numbers, and other highly sensitive data requires complex data validation and user and entity behavior analytics capabilities. 

Schools encouraging “BYOD” or “Bring Your Own Devices” must also be wary of network security. Students and employees connecting their devices to a network can expose key data to unvetted devices. 

Setting up detailed log data and validation is vital to keeping your networks secure from unwanted traffic. 

Students accessing downloading and uploading to the network remotely can be difficult to differentiate from malicious traffic. Having a dedicated, vigilant 24/7/365 security team is essential. 

Hire the best 

Secure your network with a tenured security firm. Make sure your organization is prepared to handle sophisticated cyber security attacks. Our security team is standing by 24/7/365, ready to help you craft a tailored, resilient cybersecurity strategy. 

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