Is your education institution at risk of a data breach or compliance violation?

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Regardless of size, education institutions are an attractive target for cyber attackers

Education Institutions Are a Growing Target

Today's reality is that educational and academic institutions, including K-12, Higher Ed, and medical and law schools are an attractive target for cyber attackers and determined adversaries. Defending networks from intrusion and protecting the personal, financial and health information of students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff – as well as safeguarding operational systems and research work – is a major priority for every educational institution.

Additionally, educational institutions are required to comply with a patchwork of federal and state privacy laws, and reporting mandates.

Simply stated, data breaches in educational institutions are very expensive: they cost money to remediate, they can result in loss of funding, and they damage your reputation making it harder to recruit students in the future.

Educational Institution Cybersecurity Challenges

While breaches at educational organizations don’t always make national news, the attacks are growing in frequency for several reasons:

Less Mature Security and Compliance Programs

Educational institutions struggle to keep up with the state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies, best practices, skills, and staffing compared to commercial enterprises.

Information Rich Targets

The personal, financial and health information of students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff – as well as any advanced research information your institution may have – make academic institutions a treasure-trove for organized crime and nation-state hackers.

Complex IT Environments

Educational institutions often adopt open and collaborative network policies creating a weaker security posture and a larger attack surface.

A decentralized patchwork of departments, each with their own technology footprint, make uniform cybersecurity incident detection very hard, especially for time-constrained IT teams.

The proliferation of ‘Bring Your Own’ devices -- and the elements of the digital classroom (eBooks, smartboards, tablets and online learning) means a wide multitude of devices all need network access, which also significantly expands the attack surface.

Additionally, the constant cycle of students, alumni, and faculty – all with varying levels of privileges and access – creates cybersecurity challenges.

Compliance Complexity

Most academic institutions are required to comply with a broad range of both government and industry regulations including FERPA, PCI DSS, and HIPAA.

Easy Entry

Cybercriminals often view educational institutions as an easy entry point due to lax security controls and enforcement. In some cases, your systems may not be the ultimate target. The systems your networks’ connect to may be the target.

Educational Institution Regulatory Compliance Challenges

As an educational institution, you have unique challenges to protect a very diverse user population, including students, parents, alumni, donors and faculty and staff. This puts the IT team under pressure to implement security controls mandated by a patchwork of state and industry regulations, including:

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Payment Card Information Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • Data Breach Notification or Privacy Laws at the state level

How Cygilant’s Security-as-a-Service Helps Educational Institutions

Due to limited IT budgets, it’s common for academic institutions, school districts, universities and colleges to have a small IT team tasked with all aspects of IT operations. As a result, these lean IT teams are challenged to protect their critical IT assets from cyber attacks and to comply with regulatory mandates.

Cygilant’s Security-as-a-Service offers a flexible and affordable solution – a suite of subscription-based services to deliver increased security and peace of mind.

Improve Security - Get comprehensive, up-to-the-minute threat intelligence, visibility into security events and vulnerabilities, real-time incident notification, and guidance to quickly address security issues.

Extend Your IT Team - Let our security experts supplement your IT team, working for you and doing time-consuming incident investigation and analysis.

Achieve Compliance - Know you'll be prepared for an audit at any time with regular reporting aligned with your compliance requirements.

Access Best-of-Breed Technology - Leverage integrated managed Log Management, SIEM, and Vulnerability Assessment, and Patch Management technologies, all managed for you by our security experts.

Cygilant Managed Detection and Response (MDR) – 24/7/365 threat detection, compliance monitoring, and SIEM and Log Management at a fraction of the cost of alternate solutions. Supplement your IT security team and gain peace of mind knowing your systems are monitored around-the-clock by Cygilant’s team of security analysts.

Cygilant Unified Vulnerability and Patch Management – Continuous vulnerability scans, risk prioritization, and auditable patch management to reduce your attack surface. Our Patch Management services reduces the time and complexity associated with patching servers, desktops and laptops on or off your network.

  • Get the flexibility and cost savings of Security-as-a-Service.
  • Adopt field-tested cybersecurity best practices.
  • Access a world-class team of cybersecurity experts.
  • Use best-of-breed integrated technology.

Talk to an Expert

Learn how Cygilant can reduce your security vulnerabilities, improve your security workflow, and help you meet compliance mandates.

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