Cyber Security

Top 5 cyber threats and how to protect your university

Here's how to stay on top of unsecured wi-fi, phishing attempts, and more

Higher-ed IT security professionals have their hands full contending with the various cyber threats coming their way, such as hackers using malware to compromise and take over crucial systems. With the vast amounts of private data that they gather, store, and analyze, higher ed institutions are a prime target for these kinds of attacks. Here are the top 5 cyber threats now jeopardizing higher education and what steps you can take to protect your university today.

1. Unsecured Wi-fi
Students and faculty will connect to the internet via Wi-fi, sometimes without caring whether their connection is protected. This is particularly an issue when members of the public have access to the network, which is common in higher-education environments.

As unwitting users provide their login credentials, criminals eavesdropping on these unsecured Wi-fi networks capture their passwords, which can then be used to take over their device.

If users rely on the same password for different accounts, criminals have even more access points to illegally log in. A report from Educause recommends that employees and students should receive proper training in avoiding dubious Wi-fi connections. They should also have access to two-factor identification as well as virtual private networks to protect their credentials from intruders.

(Next page: More cyber dangers and how to handle them)

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