It is undeniable–the education sector is prone to cyberattacks from malicious cybercriminals due to the amount of personal data available across user devices and organization networks. Just this past fall, the FBI, CISA and MS-ISAC issuedan alert on Vice Society, whose actors have been known to disproportionately target the education sector with ransomware attacks.

While cybersecurity is certainly a top concern among this sector, tight budgets and resources mean that it is often not addressed until a major incident occurs.Given the imminent nature of today’s threat landscape, now more than ever, the urgency surrounding how best to protect and mitigate such attacks is at an all-time high.

With 40 percent of education devices found to have sensitive data stored, educational institutions must be adequately prepared to proactively prevent and respond to potential cyberattacks before a system breach occurs.

Understanding Complex IT Environments

Despite schools primarily returning to the classrooms, the ramifications from rapid acceleration of remote learning brought about during the pandemic are still being felt today–some of which present new challenges across the industry. With limited resources, visibility and budget, IT and security teams have been forced to address obstacles remotely. On the IT front, this can make it difficult to locate, track, manage and more importantly, reclaim missing devices–regardless of platform–from a single, cloud-based console.

Emerging concerns over the inability to measure student device usage and verify online activity remains a persistent challenge. This, in tandem with failing security controls such as encryption, outdated anti-malware, and vulnerable OS versions, has created a plethora of vulnerabilities and increased risks for cyberattacks.

Boosting Endpoint Visibility

Education organizations were found to have endpoints that were connecting in from nearly three locations per day (2.89). This may not be surprising given the digital nature of most schools today; however, paired with the analysis on sensitive data, it’s evident that corporate endpoints are at an increased risk of compromise.

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