Educational Institutions Take on Data Breaches
In 2016, 9 percent of all data breaches came from the education sector. While hackers may not be interested in snooping through your old grades, they’re looking for any personal information the institution has on file to commit any number of identity crimes.
Educational institutions are targeted because they hold large amounts of sensitive information. Once criminals gain access into an institution’s network, they capture your personal information from admissions applications, third-party online homework apps, campus Wi-Fi networks and more. An education data breach can also reach far and wide, affecting faculty, students and alumni alike.
“There are many points of access [in educational institutions] because it is all about the free exchange of information. And that’s the challenge for all colleges and universities. In 2014, 50 universities had major data breaches, and not all of them bothered to report it.”
– Wallace D. Loh, President at University of Maryland
The Identity Theft Resource Center found that 86 of the total 732 data breaches in 2017 have been in educational institutions, leaving 73,529 records exposed. Breached information from an education data breach could include, but is not limited to: name, birth date, Social Security numbers, credit card data and medical information.
Schools face hefty IT bills, a tarnished reputation, a mountain of bad press and backlash from students, faculty and alumni. With the average cost of an education data breach standing at $4 million, it’s vital that organizations remain educated about data breaches and cybersecurity.
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