IT Asset Management: 4 Reasons Why it is Crucial for Education Providers and their Cybersecurity
Education providers and third level colleges have a unique responsibility to safeguard the personal data and intellectual property of their students, faculty, and staff. In recent years, the number of cyber-attacks targeting educational institutions has been on the rise, making it critical for these organisations to take proactive steps to protect their network and assets.
Asset visibility is a crucial element of cybersecurity for education providers and third level colleges. There is an old adage in cybersecurity, “it’s impossible to secure what you cannot see”, and with the increasing number of devices connected to networks, it’s become more challenging to maintain visibility into all assets.
4 Reasons why Cybersecurity and device management are essential to education providers:
- Educational institutions collect a vast amount of sensitive information, including personally identifiable information (PII), financial information, health records, and research data. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can result in identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage.
- Cybersecurity and device management are critical to ensuring the continuity of education services. Cyberattacks can cause significant disruptions to academic and administrative operations, resulting in cancelled classes, delayed research projects, and financial loss. By implementing robust cybersecurity measures and managing devices effectively, education providers can minimise the risk of cyber-attacks and maintain business continuity.
- Educational institutions have a legal obligation to protect the personal data and privacy of their students, faculty, and staff. Many countries have data protection laws that require organisations to implement appropriate security measures to protect personal data. Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal and financial consequences.
- Cybersecurity and device management are critical to maintaining the reputation and trust of educational institutions. A data breach can have severe consequences, including reputational damage and loss of trust among students, faculty, and staff. By implementing robust cybersecurity measures and managing devices effectively, education providers can demonstrate their commitment to protecting personal data and maintaining the trust of their stakeholders.
To have comprehensive visibility, education providers must create a detailed inventory of all devices connected to their networks. This should include laptops, desktops, mobile devices, printers, servers, and any other connected devices. This also includes BYOD (bring your own devices) which can cause many organisations a headache when it comes to identification and security. Asset Inventory technology works on both an agent and agent-less basis so gaining visibility on these devices is now within reach. Without visibility, there could be devices with unpatched vulnerabilities, outdated software, or no security software at all, making them a prime target for cybercriminals.
The Next Steps
Once the inventory is created, education providers should assess the risk of each device to prioritise their security efforts. They can determine which devices are critical and must have the highest level of protection and which devices can have lower security requirements.
An essential aspect of asset visibility is monitoring the network continuously to detect any unauthorised or unapproved devices. Cybercriminals often use unknown devices to gain unauthorised access to the network, so detecting these devices as soon as possible is critical to preventing data breaches.
Asset visibility is a fundamental element of cybersecurity for education providers and third level colleges. By creating a comprehensive inventory of all devices, assessing their risk, and monitoring the network continuously, education providers can maintain visibility into their assets, manage necessary risks, apply patches/fixes, and strengthen their overall security posturing. This way, they can protect against cyber threats, safeguarding the personal data and intellectual property of their students, faculty, and staff.