Steven Miller, Digital District’s Director of Cybersecurity, once said that on a scale of zero to 10, with 10 representing districts that had adequately protected their networks and databases, the nationwide score would be somewhere between zero and one. It’s unfortunate that educational institutions are behind in terms of their cybersecurity, but it’s hardly surprising given their budgetary restraints.

At Cyberstone, we help managed service providers (MSPs) provide their clients with affordable, top-of-the-line cybersecurity services designed to reduce risk and keep critical information safe. If you work with educational institutions, adding cybersecurity to your portfolio is an easy way to increase your value and provide your clients with the protection they need. Contact us to learn more, and read on to learn more about the importance of cybersecurity in the education sector.

Patch Management Presents a Large Gap

Patch management is an easy-to-understand concept that’s quite difficult to implement in practice. Machines outfitted with Windows are relatively easy to patch and keep up-to-date, but applications are a different story. Third-party apps such as photo editing software, internet browsers, and many class-specific programs quickly become outdated and vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Many patch-directed attacks don’t occur directly by targeting specific programs first, either. They often occur via phishing emails or links to malicious websites that place malware on a machine. Once it’s been installed, it’s able to evaluate programs for weaknesses and potentially gain access to sensitive information.

Employee Training Can Reduce Risk

As noted above, many educational institutions are compromised not by the weakness of their defenses, but rather by a lack of training. Employee-focused training can play a crucial, frontline role in any institution’s defense plan by helping staff members and stakeholders understand how to spot threats, what to do when they discover them, and how to help their students do the same.

Anyone who regularly uses technology to access information on the institution’s network should become familiar with proper password hygiene, signs of phishing emails, how to browse the web safely, and how to keep physical devices secure. This is particularly important now that many educators are working remotely and might be accessing critical information from personal devices at home.

Every School Needs a Backup Plan

Every institution should have a backup plan that they can implement if a breach occurs. No matter how well employees have been trained and how much money has been invested in firewalls and other security measures, there’s always a chance that something can slip through the cracks.

Cyberstone provides policy development assistance that helps organizations clarify what their current policies are, understand what can be improved, and develop new objectives that help staff members get on the same page.

Contact Cyberstone to Learn More

If you’re an MSP serving educational institutions, there’s no better time than now to invest in cybersecurity services that can keep critical information safe, reduce the risk of PR disasters, and prevent disruptions to students.

Contact Cyberstone to learn more about how you can leverage our suite of cybersecurity products and services to provide your clients with robust protection they won’t find with any other MSP.