Protecting your educational establishment from a data breach

 In IT Support, Security

Data breaches are a nightmare for any business or organisation. It does not matter whether you run a large financial firm or a small café, it is something you need to be concerned about. The same applies when it comes to educational institutions. After all, a breach can spell huge financial damage and a lack of confidence in your school or university.

Despite this, education establishments are regularly overlooked when it comes to personal and payment security. A lot of universities, colleges and schools have outdated systems and inadequate protection in place. If you do a bit of digging online, you will see that there have been many breaches with regards to this industry. This includes breaches at the likes of the University of Greenwich and Wellesley House School in Kent. In fact, a report conducted by Gemalto revealed that education sector data breaches skyrocketed in 2017 by 103 per cent.

Common security vulnerabilities at educational institutes include intellectual property, unprotected websites, mobile device security, and personal data. Plus, today’s modern educational establishments are complicated entities, with numerous payment sites and having almost universal access to Wi-Fi networks. This highly integrated network could be a gold mine for data fraudsters. A lack of staff training is another issue. Did you know that a large chunk of data breaches are employer attacks? Not many of these are intentional, however. They are accidental breaches that occur because employees have not been trained properly in cyber security and data protection.

The consequences of a data breach at a school, university, or college could be devastating. This could mean that students and staff members’ personal information, payment data, and medical details are shared. This can result in monumental fines, as well as excessive reputational damage, which can be incredibly hard to repair. Not only this, but you will need to spend a lot of money getting to the root of the vulnerability and fixing it, as well as paying out compensation to those that have suffered because of what has happened. You can save yourself all of this by investing in up-to-date cyber security and training your employees effectively.

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