5 Social and Digital Security Tips for Educational Institutions

The explosion of the social and digital landscape is shifting the way schools engage with students, faculty, and the larger community. This new paradigm requires student, faculty and campus protection onsite and online.

Steps colleges and universities can take to better protect students, faculty and campuses

  1. Gain visibility into Physical threats before they take place: Physical threats often manifest themselves online before an actual attack takes place.
  2. Protect your Brand: Educational institutions rely on brand awareness to drive fundraising, recruit new students and hire best-in-class faculty.
  3. Take down impersonating accounts: Monitoring your school’s digital presence will reveal potential attacks made against administration, student, alumni and followers of your school, helping maintain staff, community and campus protection.
  4. Know your digital exposure for data breaches and Intellectual property: A data breach is typically associated with usernames and passwords, but personally identifiable information (PII) increases the value of the data and in some cases doubles per record according to the Ponemon Institute. In 2017, data breaches in the education sector jumped 167%, and with services like HaveIBeenPwned publishing a breach nearly every week, incident responders and technologists at these institutions should have a proactive and reactive plan for breaches.
  5. Stay ahead of vulnerabilities: Installing security and vulnerability scanners and receiving reports on known vulnerabilities within your systems will reduce the attack surface of your systems.

Moving forward, security, IT and marketing professionals at educational institutions should be one team that supports overall security both physical and digital. Understanding how social and digital channels can be manipulated to threaten your campus, students and staff is a critical first step for addressing threats head on. Through the monitoring, alerting and remediation of threats with the help of a digital visibility and protection partner, education institutions can ensure they have the student, faculty and campus protection they need to stay safe online and at school.

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