This semester, higher-ed institutions around the world have struggled to keep up with the digital demands of remote learning. As these organizations build the infrastructure that will support distance learning moving forward, it’s more critical than ever for the education industry to consider the safety and security of its students and faculty members as we look ahead to how COVID-19 will continue to impact learning institutions.

College campuses have long been a target for cyber threat actors. In fact, EDUCAUSE reported that the number one IT issue academic institutions face in 2020 is adopting a sound information security strategy. It’s no wonder, considering the rise in faculty and students bringing their own devices (BYOD) over the past decade, coupled with universities’ often insufficient funds to adequately secure campus networks.

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And the amount of sensitive data that needs to be safeguarded has risen in lockstep with the number of devices. Academic institutions are a treasure trove of data — from student health and financial data, to faculty resumes and 401K information, to critical research and organizational data used to support U.S. companies and government agencies.

Now, in the age of COVID-19, all of this information is even more vulnerable as students and faculty access it via remote, at-home networks that often lag behind on-campus facilities in terms of security.

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About the Author:

Bill Conner is the CEO of SonicWall.