Higher education institutions and K-12 schools are still reeling from the changes made during the pandemic, and the looming threat of a ransomware attack continues. Sixty-four percent of higher education institutions were hit by ransomware in the last year – a significant increase from 44 percent the previous year.
Institutions are attractive targets for bad actors, as they often lack a resilient IT infrastructure, operate with tight budgets and stretched IT teams, and struggle to secure outdated infrastructure with limited resources. Modern institutions run on data, making a meaningful data protection strategy essential.
Ensuring continuity of learning and research is a top priority for higher education institutions as any disruption threatens the student, educator, and researcher experience. They can benefit from solutions that prioritize data protection against changing ransomware threats – and investing in data-centric, flexible, and scalable solutions offers secure and reliable data protection.
The Importance of Data Protection
Data protection is a vital component of the contemporary data center that encompasses multiple platforms and technologies, efficiently delivers critical data and applications with blazing fast restores, and enables institutions to derive real value from data. It also plays a critical role in risk mitigation, continuity of teaching and learning, protecting institutional reputation, and student satisfaction.
While institutions grapple with the best approach to modernization, they face the ever-growing threat of a cyber breach – 57 percent of leaders reported an increase in the volume of cyberattacks on their institutions last year. With recent hacks at Los Angeles Unified School District and other high-profile school districts and institutions that shut down operations, the balance between access and security is as crucial as ever.
Technology solutions that meet student and administrative needs must have data security built in, and prevention is only one side of the story. A solid recovery solution for the “aftermath” of an attack is critical. Therefore, institutions must invest in the most secure systems, prioritizing both backup and recovery to guard against potential threats, minimizing downtime, and continuing to deliver an optimal student experience.
Cloud-Ready Solutions and Data Protection
Institutions are looking for ways to invest in the latest solutions, while maintaining relatively low costs, without compromising data security. They require modern data protection that provides more than just an insurance policy for potential threats. Data protection is a vital component of the contemporary data center that encompasses multiple platforms and technologies, efficiently delivers critical data and applications with blazing fast restores, and lets institutions derive real value from data. It can also play a critical role in risk mitigation, protecting institutional reputation, and student satisfaction.
Many of the most advanced IT systems deploy integrated, hybrid, and multi-cloud architectures, and upgraded legacy applications – including container-based applications. Institutions need simple, cost-effective solutions without disruption or downtime, and containers allow institutions to create and deploy applications faster and more securely, bringing a heightened drive for data management for enterprise-level assurance.
Many education IT leaders are looking to modernize with cloud-based solutions, as they give IT development teams the tools to modernize their applications, using containers and microservices to gain speed, agility, and scale while offering easy backup and restore and enhanced disaster recovery that protects the entire application, including data, application configuration, and container-based objects.
Prepare Now for the Future
The ransomware challenge facing institutions continues to grow, and the number of institutions directly impacted by ransomware has increased considerably over the last year. A ransomware attack is often right around the corner for institutions and IT leaders must prioritize rapid restore and data backup.
Optimizing ransomware defenses is more important than ever. Institutions should ensure high-quality defenses at all points, prepare for the worst, and make backup and restore a priority. Data is the most valuable asset in an institution – and rapid recovery ensures that institutions can avoid major organizational disruption and financial impact; protect student, faculty, and other sensitive data; and stay focused on their important research and teaching initiatives.
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