4. Protecting data in the cloud

“One of the big topics in higher education is the movement to cloud services [and] protecting information that we no longer have in our data center,” Henry says. The cloud-based information includes sensitive student information like grades, finances, class scheduling, history of credits, etc.

The first step in protecting this information, according to Henry, is selecting a cloud services provider that has strong security practices and a security staff large enough to respond quickly to any potential security threats.

Higher education administrators need to scrutinize cloud services contracts, not so much for the technology provided, but for language that clearly defines that the provider has the proper security certifications and follows specific security standards in operating cloud services.

5. Increased use of technology to augment physical security

College campuses have long used access cards for students to enter dormitories, certain buildings on campus and other areas with limited access. However, it’s not uncommon for an authorized person to “be polite,” holding the door open for the next person, who may or may not be authorized.

Also, an unauthorized person may rush in once the door is opened, so there’s never a chance for it to shut.

To help combat this problem, the University of San Francisco, and a number of other colleges and universities, is deploying combinations of cameras and facial recognition software to positively identify authorized students and other personnel.

Phillip Britt is an editorial freelancer with eCampus News.

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