Cybersecurity as a Service for Preventing Phishing Attacks in Higher Education

Between student information, financial data, and research, colleges and universities store and manage a huge amount of sensitive data—the type of data that cybercriminals can exploit. Whether threat actors encrypt your files and hold them for ransom, steal your data and sell it on the dark web, or disrupt your network and prevent you from operating efficiently, it all starts with a breach.

What causes a breach? In more than 80% of cases, cyberattacks start with a phishing email. Despite training, technology, and repeated warnings over the years, an analysis of more than 23 billion cyberattacks shows that the majority of data breaches occur when someone clicks on what appears to be a safe link, but opens the door to cyber-attacks.

When hackers gain access to login credentials or gain unauthorized access to college and university networks, they have a multitude of tools and tactics to cause significant harm. When a ransomware attack hit Lincoln College in Illinois, already struggling with declining enrollment, the institution that had been around since 1865 was forced to close its doors permanently.

Most colleges and universities struggle to stay afloat on the sea of phishing attacks. Duke University saw massive phishing campaigns targeting students, and students were encouraged to update their login information to avoid losing access to school accounts. When students did, attackers used the stolen passwords to launch another wave of attacks using Duke email addresses.

Engaging a higher ed cyber security service provider and deploying cybersecurity as a service for higher ed can mitigate the threat of phishing emails.

Higher Ed Cyber Security Service Provider

Since most colleges and universities have older legacy systems, cyber security as a service for higher ed can act as a protective layer across all of your resources. A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can deploy security to identify phishing emails before they reach a user’s inbox, including:

Email Filtering and Anti-Spam Services

MSSPs offer services like email filters, anti-spam software, and anti-phishing technologies that can detect and block many phishing emails before they reach users’ inboxes. They maintain real-time block lists of known phishing sites and sources.

Email Security Gateways

Cybersecurity as a service for higher ed can include secure email gateways for deep inspection, scanning incoming emails and attachments for malicious links, files, and content. These gateways use advanced techniques like machine learning to identify new and emerging phishing threats.

Security Awareness Training

Colleges and universities can also benefit from security awareness training for employees, focused specifically on recognizing phishing emails. This trains employees to identify subtle signs of phishing attempts. Training might include simulated attacks to test employee knowledge.

Incident Response and Takedowns

If a phishing attack does succeed, higher ed cyber security service providers can offer rapid incident response to contain the attack and perform forensic analysis to determine the scope and prevent further loss.

Ongoing Monitoring and Advice

Phishing emails are also constantly evolving. MSSPs continuously update their filters to account for evolving tactics, using real-time intelligence to evaluate threats.

Finding Cyber Security as a Service for Higher Ed

When you are looking for a higher ed cyber security service provider, focus on those with proven experience securing higher education organizations. They will understand your compliance needs, limited resources, and diverse networks.

You will also want to do an analysis of your available resources and identify areas where you need cybersecurity support to help strengthen your defense.

E&I Cooperative Services can help you find the best-fit higher ed cyber security service provider. E&I Cooperative Services is the only member-owned, non-profit sourcing cooperative that focuses exclusively on education.

E&I Cooperative Services negotiates contracts on behalf of its 6,000 members to ensure you get best-in-class pricing for goods and services. By combining the bulk buying power across colleges and universities, cooperative agreements can produce significant savings. With today’s higher prices and increasingly tighter budgets in higher education, cooperative contracts can streamline procurement and save serious money.

There is no cost to join E&I Cooperative Services, and no obligation. Members can view available contracts, designed specifically for the education sector, compare prices, and opt in at their discretion. Find the cybersecurity as a service for higher ed resources you need by becoming a member today.

Learn more about the benefits of joining other higher education institutions and leveraging group purchasing power.


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