Schools will struggle with more than COVID-19 as kids return this Fall – whether virtually, on campus, or a combination of the two. Colleges and universities contain lots of sensitive data that hackers cherish. The admissions department holds student addresses, transcripts, and SSNs. The Financial Aid department maintains parents’ financial data including tax returns and bank statements. If a student visits the Health Center, staff collects PHI like blood type, medical history, and prescription information. If the university is active in research, science departments produce intellectual property like field data and clinical trial results. Unless schools protect this PII, PHI, and IP, hackers will use it for social engineering, financial fraud, or a competitive advantage. Students and their parents often pay the price for these crimes but they aren’t the only ones who suffer.
Prior to COVID-19, CISO Street sat down with Paul Yoder, Head of Cybersecurity for El Camino College (CA), to discuss some of the cybersecurity challenges unique to education. In this video, Paul shares his views on the risks and consequences schools face when a cyberattack occurs.