Students and IT pros weigh in on cybersecurity

How IT and students can work together to decrease cyber attacks

Across the country, colleges and universities are on high alert to protect against cyber attacks. From WannaCry to Petya, the recent proliferation of ransomware, malware, and distributed denial of service attacks are cause for concern, thanks to institutions’ open environments and rich stores of personally identifiable information. According to Gemalto, education-data breaches doubled in the first half of 2017.

College IT teams strive to protect their campuses, but IT pros are only part of the equation. For adequate protection, students must also play an active role in cyber safety. CDW-G’s recent survey of 250 higher education IT professionals and 300 students took a closer look at the cybersecurity efforts and concerns of both groups.

Prevention is best

The best way to protect against the potentially disastrous effects of cyber attacks is to prevent them. Yet, no matter how much work IT pros put into developing strong training programs and guidelines, if their efforts are not embraced by–or effectively communicated to–users, the value of their efforts diminishes. Eighty-two percent of IT pros surveyed by CDW-G say that they require students to take IT cybersecurity training at least once per year; however, only 35 percent of students say the same. Additionally, while 81 percent of students say their institutions’ ability to protect university and student data is very important, 74 percent of students are concerned with their institutions’ ability to do so.

(Next page: More ways IT can improve cybersecurity)

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