The Importance of Ensuring Cyber Security in the Education Sector

The education sector has been a popular target for hackers for decades now as it offers access to a wealth of valuable information. As the student population moved into remote learning environments, cyber security in higher education became increasingly concerning. In this article, I will be summarising how Alyne can help higher education institutions achieve greater cyber resilience in four simple steps, as we commit to ensure cyber security in the education sector.

With the global student population moving to remote learning, the education sector has been a popular target for hackers. Cyber attacks on the education sector are nothing new, as evidenced by the prominent cyber attack on the Australian National University (ANU) in 2018, where 19 years worth of confidential data was compromised. Unfortunately, cyber security in higher education continues to be a concern as the pandemic exposes the cyber risk profile of Australian universities. We have seen this amplified as recently as April 2021, when Swinburne University confirmed over 5,000 individuals were affected by a data breach. The spike in cyber attacks amidst the pandemic is particularly concerning, especially with higher education institutions being a critical infrastructure that stores a massive amount of personal information.

The importance of ensuring cyber security in the higher education industry 

The nature of higher education institutions has made them prime targets for cyber attacks as it grants malicious hackers access to a large amount of personal information and intellectual property.

This is mainly because higher education institutions:

  • Produce valuable research
  • Their databases store valuable personal data of past and current students and staff 

Cyber attackers have been consistently adopting the most edge-cutting technologies and methods to exploit university systems. In an outdated system, data vulnerabilities would be further exposed, creating new areas for cyber adversaries and violation of privacy. Hence, it is important for these institutions to have a secured cyber security network and a mature cyber security policy.

How Alyne can help you secure your cyber security network

Alyne's Software as a Service helps higher education institutions to actively implement a mature level of cyber resilience to ensure that individuals and organisations remain largely resilient towards threats.

Alyne helps you achieve greater cyber resilience in four simple steps:

1. Define your Cyber Controls

Alyne’s out-of-the-box Control Sets addresses topics such as Data Loss Prevention, Data Protection and Data Privacy in compliance with legal requirements from major global jurisdictions, such as ASD ISM, EU GDPR, UK Data Privacy Act and more. Alyne's Controls are customisable, allowing your organisation to create the Controls that best suits your organisation’s area of concern. 

2. Perform Regular Cyber Risk Assessments 

Alyne's highly scalable Assessment templates enable you to regularly assess maturity across your organisation to obtain tangible information on maturity levels. This allows your organisation to easily perform regular cyber risk assessments of internal and external threats to critical business assets. 

3. Monitoring and Analytics 

Alyne's Software as a Service allows your organisation to continuously monitor critical business systems, which can include risk data within your organisations and third-party vendors. This capability is imperative to ensure that your organisation is consistently ahead in detecting potential gaps or weaknesses.

4. React, Recover and Review 

In Alyne, risk and compliance managers can use Radar Diagram Reports to quickly and easily understand their threat landscape, in the context of the risk events and topics assessed. These reports provide tangible value to the management team by highlighting areas that need more time and resources to enable them to strategically reach their desired level of security.

Alyne Australia's commitment to the education sector 

In 2021, Alyne Australia will be demonstrating our commitment to maturing the cyber security posture in the education sector as we join the Strategic Procurement programme of the Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT). In this programme, we will be offering our solution to help Australasian universities confidently navigate the cyber security landscape. Alyne's Software as a Service will be developing metrics to help universities adopt appropriate risk profiles and counter ever-increasing cyber security threats.

The Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT), an incorporated non-profit association owned by the Australasian universities and a number of major Australian research organisations, supports CIOs and their teams through the provision of a broad range of services, fostering collaboration, leadership and good practice among its members. Services include negotiation of collective procurement agreements, benchmarking, and professional development. CAUDIT's purpose is to support each other in leading the application of digital capabilities to transform education and research.

Learn more in our Press Release here.

To learn more about how you can protect and enhance your data privacy and cyber security as you meet the requirements of ASD ISM, EU GDPR, UK DPA, USA CCPA guidelines with Alyne's capabilities, contact our team.

Written in collaboration by Jeff Sussman (Head of Alyne Australia) and Eunice Cheah (Marketing Associate)

Jeff Sussman

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