Cyber security is essential no matter what your business is. For most companies, breaches in security can result in downed systems and loss of time and money. For some, however, cyber security threats can lead to even greater damage. If you oversee a school, you know that the welfare of students is in your hands. Any cyber security vulnerabilities that might threaten their safety must be taken seriously and prevented.
The bad news is that the frequency of cyber security threats to schools has actually increased in recent years. In 2019, the number of cyber security threats was almost as numerous as the previous two years combined. This increase means that cyber security in schools needs to be improved. As malware evolves to take advantage of any weakness in the system, possible entryways must be closed off.
The Most Common Cyber Security Threats
There are 5 common cyber security threats to schools. They are data breaches, malware, phishing, network/school infrastructure hacks, and denial of service attacks. Each of these threats can ultimately compromise the security of sensitive and potentially confidential material.
A data breach is when data is accessed by an unapproved, outside source. Because school databases can contain student addresses and other private information, this trend is troubling. Phishing is when fraudulent emails are sent out by someone pretending to be a school representative. If these emails solicit information under a fraudulent guise, sensitive information can be stolen in this way. Malware, infrastructure hacks, and denial of service attacks are other ways that information can be compromised.
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Because a school may only have one or two IT professionals managing its network, they are often underserved. Additionally, increased technology in schools means more opportunities for a data breach or other cyber security threats. Unfortunately, schools are highly vulnerable to cyber security threats of all kinds. Limited budgets combined with a lack of adequate IT support creates unnecessary weaknesses. Due to the presence of children, these potential breaches should be prevented at all costs. The most vulnerable population – and their data – must be protected.
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Luckily, there are ways to more efficiently protect schools against cyber security threats. What can you do? One option is to boost perimeter and internal network security. Perimeter security utilizes firewalls, web filters, and email protection to help enforce a stronger perimeter. This is to prevent malicious software from getting through. Internal network security helps to strengthen the network from within. It’s important to stay up to date with security patches, as well as the most current versions of software.
The other thing you can do is make sure to have a knowledgeable support system. When you have IT professionals working on your behalf, you set your school up for success. Preventing cyber security threats starts with us. Contact our team at LA Creative for a cyber security assessment to find and correct weak spots before they become a problem. We can keep your school’s network safe and secure!