Widespread disruption caused by the global pandemic has left those in higher education reeling and with many challenges. We recognise that educators are working hard to keep students safe by deploying remote and online learning solutions to support what’s fast becoming a ‘new normal’ for higher education.
The impact of coronavirus has led to a dramatic shift in remote learning. Not only has this resulted in a steep learning curve for educators to form a new curriculum, but also a challenge in offering continuous remote access to course content, at scale and, most importantly, securely.
Highly publicised ransomware attacks increase data breaches
The increased demand for online solutions has stretched IT departments to the limits to ensure the right infrastructure is in place. As the technical boundaries have shifted, so too have the threats. The increase in remote learning has put more demands on networks and VPNs, and there has been a spike in web-based malware and phishing attacks.
More recently, several leading colleges and universities have been hit with highly publicised ransomware attacks that have seen hackers infiltrate computer networks, steal data and then demand payments to unlock systems. Not only have these latest incidents led to massive disruption at a time when universities are dealing with many issues and while enrolling students, but have also raised concerns over data breaches.
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Shared responsibility model is critical to maintain optimum security
The rapid adoption of remote and cloud-based learning across the education sector creates many security implications, but also requires a shared responsibility model. Students must be made aware of the latest online threats and trained in cybersecurity basics. It’s also important for them to follow good personal password hygiene and understand what to do if they suspect a threat. Now is the time for those in higher education to review their policies and practices to ensure that they are fit for purpose when it comes to remote and online learning.
Increase security for remote working
As more students operate remotely, there is an increase in home-based devices connected to networks. To protect data and security, universities and colleges now need to insist on the use of secured VPN connections to transfer data.
As learning continues to shift online, there also needs to be a hardening of web-based security. Students need to be made aware of possible threats and follow the latest guidelines. Web-based applications must also be able to detect and deal with unauthorised connections and activity.
With an expected rise in cyber-attacks, universities and colleges need to consider platforms that can monitor infrastructure and network usage, detect security breaches and carry out a thorough investigation following a security event.
The recent growth in remote and distance learning is likely to result in a long-term sea change in the way higher education is delivered. And, although initially challenging to set up, it could produce many benefits – including a rise in those attending higher education in the future.
Combining forces to defeat the threats
Fortinet offers intelligent, seamless protection across the expanding attack surface. Nouveau solutions is a trusted IT partner in consulting, designing and implementing solutions that provide support in cloud, compliance and cybersecurity.
Our experience and expertise in delivering and proactively monitoring security services combined through Fortinet solutions enables us to detect and respond to both malicious and non-malicious, internal and external threats, keeping your information secure.
Together, we can improve your security posture and increase your operational resilience by learning and adapting to the changing threat landscape to identify and address negligent or criminal behaviour.
Want to learn more? Join us for our Live Panel discussion on Tuesday 17th November, 11am (GMT) to find out how you can be ready for rapidly changing security challenges:
Find out more at our live panel: https://bit.ly/3jEYosq
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