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Cyber Security in the Higher Education Sector
The education sector is an attractive target for cybercriminals because of the volume and sensitivity of data, as well as the financial capabilities of the sector.
Learn how we are helping higher education institutions manage their cyber security risk and implement appropriate measures to protect their establishment, students, and staff from a potential cyber attack.
UK Education Cyber Security Resilience
Colleges and universities around the UK are facing a surge in cyber security attacks, such as ransomware and business email compromise (BEC).
Housing significant volumes of sensitive personal student and staff data, intellectual property and innovators of world-leading research, education institutions are a tempting target for cybercriminals.
In 2020, the pandemic resulted in a sudden shift to remote learning with schools, colleges and universities around the world closing their premises. With such an accelerated move to deliver learning and teaching remotely, along with the unique, frequent changing community of users, UK education institutions have become a persistent target with countless cases reported, disrupting services and infrastructure.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), warned institutions in September 2020, then again in February 2021, and also in June 2021, as they observed an alarming increase in ransomware attacks, further emphasising the urgency of organisations in the sector to be prepared for cyber-attacks and improve their cyber security.
Quorum Cyber are committed to ensuring the education sector is resilient against these evolving attacks and are proud to partner with educational establishments across the UK, to combat some of the biggest and unique challenges facing the sector.
Cyber-attacks in the education sector are not slowing down
With rapid change comes uncertainty. UK education institutions have become a frequent and persistent target for cyber criminals, with countless cases disrupting university, college and school services and infrastructure.
of universities reported a data breach in the past 12 months to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
of UK universities have been subject to ransomware attacks in the last 10 years - TopLine Comms Freedom of Information request
of further education colleges experience breaches or attacks at least once a week - The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
(£910,000) paid by University of California, San Francisco after a month-long standoff with hackers in June 2020 - IT Governance
Some of the biggest cyber security challenges facing the education sector
The huge shift in normal teaching and learning practices, resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, along with the challenges of securing large volumes of data for a frequent changing community, shortage of cyber professionals and resources, and budget constraints can be extremely overwhelming.
Securing and housing large volumes of data
UK Education establishments hold huge volumes of intellectual property and sensitive data, further exposed with data increasingly held on devices outside of educational premises.
Large student populations connecting to networks
A vast and frequently changing community makes ensuring network access is granted appropriately, difficult. Just one compromised credential can allow an attacker to gain access.
Lack of asset visibility
In a time of uncertainty, systems to support remote learning and teachings has accelerated, and it can be difficult to maintain an understanding of all assets within your environment.
Highly targeted by threat actors
Attackers know when to target organisations, witnessed when attackers struck as education establishments geared up to welcome students back from an unprecedented situation.
Large number of endpoints
Widespread use of personal devices is common in Educational institutions. This, along with the new remote teaching practices presents further challenges in securing your wider network.
Difficult to train students on security best practice
Good security awareness among staff and students is key. High turnover of students and evolving use of technology to work or teach remotely, presents additional challenges.
Lack of in-house cyber security skills and resource
The global cyber security skills gap means there is a shortage of professionals equipped to deal with the threats facing universities and colleges.
Minimal budgets for security
Facing increased financial pressures following the impact of COVID-19, higher education establishments are challenged to do more with less budget.
Cyber Security Services for Universities and Colleges
Learn how we are helping educational institutions become better prepared to proactively detect and respond to evolving cyber threats with our comprehensive range of Managed Security Services.
We have a specialist cyber security team who understand your compliance requirements, the persistent threats relevant to your industry, and the mounting pressures to preserve the reputation of your institution. Our people become an extension of your in-house teams, delivering a tailored service that focuses on critical threats, effectively reducing cyber security risk.
Microsoft Sentinel Managed Detection and Response (MDR)
Avoid large up-front investments in licenses and technology. Effectively and efficiently reduce cyber risk for a fraction of the cost of building internal teams and capabilities
Microsoft Extended Detection and Response (XDR) Service
For comprehensive security across your whole IT estate. Unlock the value of your existing investments without the need to invest in further solutions.
Why choose Quorum Cyber as your trusted education cyber security partner?
Quorum Cyber are an award-winning, Microsoft Gold Partner and member of the Microsoft Intelligence Security Association, one of just a few UK-based companies to hold this distinction, specialising in cyber security managed and consulting services. We are accredited by CREST for the delivery of Vulnerability Assessments, Penetration Testing and Cyber Security Incident Response.
Reduce your academic institution's cyber risk
Round-the-clock detection and response, for a fraction of the cost of building on-site teams and capabilities
Meet higher education compliance and regulatory obligations
Our service is delivered entirely in your environment, ensuring data ownership
Make the case for cyber security spend in higher education
Pay-as-you-go subscription, based on the number of people we protect and signals in-scope
Realise the gaps in the configuration of your Microsoft Office 365
Let us help make the most of your existing investments, without the need to invest in further solutions
Explore our latest content and resources
Here you will find our latest news, comprehensive technical blog and thought leadership on developing cyber security related issues.
UK university leads the way in cyber resilience, protecting their community of staff, students, and partners
When the pandemic created an unprecedented change, UCLan were already significantly underway in their IT transformation journey as they reshaped their education approach – with their students and staff firmly at the centre of their strategy.
The Zero Trust Model
No longer can we assume that downloading the latest anti-virus software and changing our passwords now and then is enough to prevent cyber criminals from doing us harm.
A much more robust approach is essential.
Why Higher Education Institutions are a prime target for cyber-attacks?
Universities, colleges, and schools, around the globe, closed their premises and made an accelerated move to completely adapt their existing operating models. With entire infrastructures shifted to allow for remote teaching and learning practices, not all were ready.