As invisible threats to education loom, cybersecurity is paramount

Key points:

As COVID-19 swept the nation beginning in 2019, no one knew just how life-altering the pivot to remote work and education would be. Today, we see more and more students and employees alike who are relying on technology to engage with their work and peers than ever before. As with holidays and other unanticipated events, this pivot drew in some of the biggest minds in security who worked to eliminate cybersecurity challenges stemming from this change – but it also drew in hackers.

Shoring up cybersecurity practices in the education industry is quite the feat. User authorization is extremely challenging, as IT professionals must navigate through different levels of access for each user community. This creates even higher risks because networks must be open to employees, students, and others – an issue most businesses don’t need to manage.

Another major cybersecurity challenge we see frequently with education is outdated technology. Like healthcare, we see devices that need to connect to the network — but the old software poses risks, such as a lack of updated security protocols. This creates vulnerabilities that are ideal for threat actors, many of which are looking for an easy fix they can exploit. Media devices that can be connected to computers–thumb drives, external hard drives, CDs, DVDs–also pose a challenge to MSPs/MSSPs providing cybersecurity to their clients.

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