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Posted on: July 10th 2022

5 Life Saving Cyber Security Tips for Educational Institutes

The post-pandemic world has witnessed a sudden rise in cyber-attacks on organizations and educational institutes. With students switching to small classes, institutes are becoming more vulnerable to hackers and their modern cyber warfare. This includes schools, universities, and higher education institutes, so addressing the need for cyber security measures is imperative and cannot be overlooked anymore. Here are five tips for keeping educational institutes safe from hackers:

1) Work closely with the communications team – Sometimes, it so happens that reaching out to your staff gets challenging due to their hectic schedules and inbox being flooded. In such instances, it is essential to have a reliable communication team in the IT department that constantly keeps all your staff in the loop. Moreover, hackers commonly use phishing methods to target the staff, so it is also important to let staff know how to avoid opening them and set up the next course of action if someone opens it by mistake.

2) Conduct cyber security awareness programs and train your staff – Organizations that overlook the importance of cyber awareness are long gone. Similarly, institutes should regularly enforce training programs and education for the staff. They should be aware of the latest technology, policies, prevention methods, response plans as well as measures taken in case of non-compliance. In fact, it is suggested to conduct an annual program detailing the above topics to have an effective understanding of our cyber-attacks and responses.

3) Have a contingency or backup plan – No matter how many precautions an institute and its staff is willing to take, there will be some situations where a security incident can take place. This is due to the ever-evolving techniques and tools that hackers use, so prevention is better but it’s even more important to have an incident response plan in place. Such comprehensive plans will help the security team in recovering and protecting sensitive information.

4) Educate students and conduct awareness programs – Earlier, we spoke about conducting awareness camps for the staff, but we should not overlook the need to do the same for children. They also bring a significant amount of risk and if they are unaware, they will undermine the risks involved. Since students come from different subjects and specializations, it is important to target all the campuses and educate them.

5) Systems should always be updated – All the technologies such as computers, operating systems, web, or mobile applications need to update regularly to protect against threats.  This is a very simple yet effective practice when it comes to fixing vulnerabilities and threats.

Next Steps

With the rising cybersecurity threats and challenges for higher education institutes, many of them have realized that they can’t afford to risk and overlook these issues anymore. Furthermore, the leadership team should enforce stringent cyber security practices from externals if needed. Therefore, it is imperative to set up plans and build a defence against hackers, as this will prove useful in the long run.

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