Home Featured Cybersecurity News: Higher Ed is Prime Target for Cyber Criminals, Lack of Cyber Professionals Contributes

Cybersecurity News: Higher Ed is Prime Target for Cyber Criminals, Lack of Cyber Professionals Contributes

by Margaret Brown

Higher ed has become a prime target for cybercriminals and is frequently experiencing ransomware attacks. This new roundup share stories about motivations, trends, and malicious actors behind these attacks, how higher ed IT leaders can create best practices by understanding the variety, volume and velocity of campus attacks. We also learn about a Texas University that is trying to bolster higher ed systems with a program designed to address the lack of cyber professionals in today’s workforce.

How to Protect Your School from a Ransomware Attack: Insight from Cyber Expert Dennis Egan

With large amounts of personal data on file, schools are a prime target for bad actors – like other “big game” targets, such as government agencies and healthcare systems.

The importance of preparing for a ransomware attack was highlighted by a recent ransomware attack that targeted DCH Health System in Alabama that shut down three hospitals and resulted in the ransom being paid to regain hospital systems. This story sheds light on the increase in frequency and impact of cyberthreats targeting personal information found in hospitals, government records, and schools. GovCybersecurityHub, spoke to Dennis Egan, the Director of Healthcare East at CrowdStrike, and he explored the motivations, trends, and malicious actors behind these attacks as well as why schools often are targeted.

Read the Dennis Egan interview here.

Hackers Evolve Attacks Methods in Higher Education Breaches

Malicious actors target institutional data because it pays off, and campuses struggle to create effective cybersecurity. While education lags behind industries such as finance, healthcare, and public administration in total breach volume, Verizon’s “2019 Data Breach Investigations Report” notes an uptick in both the volume of confirmed data disclosure attacks in education — 99 of 382 incidents — and in the variety of threats.  According to ZDNet, one university recently disclosed a data breach that saw the personally identifiable information (PII) of both students and families compromised, and similar incidents were reported by other institutions.

To develop best practices capable of meeting cyber threats head-on, IT leaders must

understand the Variety, Volume and Velocity of Campus Attacks.

EdTech looks at the effect of cyberattacks and outlines a five-factor approach to best practices here.

Cybersecurity Leadership Program Works to Decrease Cyber Workforce Shortage

The need for a cyber-ready workforce is becoming even more urgent. Currently, there are over 350,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the United States alone, and that number is expected to increase. To develop the workforce of the future with a specialty in cybersecurity, The University of Texas at Austin has launched the first Healthcare Cybersecurity Leadership Program, offering a certificate in Privacy and Security Risk Management at the McCombs School of Business. “Attracting and retaining cybersecurity talent is a major challenge in all industry sectors,” said Greg Garcia, executive director of cybersecurity for the Healthcare and Public Sector Coordinating Council, and former assistant secretary for cybersecurity at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Read more here.

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