- Data analytics tools could help colleges and universities identify and respond to signs of ransomware attacks.
- According to Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Education, one such tool, Splunk Insights for Ransomware, builds on Splunk's existing data analytics tech to help university IT departments quickly identify a ransomware attack, streamlining a process of addressing an attack once it has been detected.
- With ransomware incidents rising 35% in 2015, solutions that can constantly monitor for such an attack are increasingly critical in saving time and money for institutions.
Education has become one of the primary targets of ransomware attacks, in which a network is infested with malicious software that blocks access to files or threatens to publish them until a ransom is paid. Due to the sensitivity of data often in question, as well as its necessity to job performance, these attacks have proven successful in many cases.
Beyond adopting solutions that can monitor the network for these attacks and prevent them, college and university IT leaders must ensure that campus stakeholders are educated on how to avoid falling victim to malicious activity, as well. In most cases, the No. 1 threat to network security is the end user.
At the University of Dayton, Associate Provost and CIO Dr. Thomas Skill has addressed this in recent years with an campuswide campaign focused on running phishing tests; sending updates, warnings and the latest security news; and offering incentives and prizes for people to complete certain actions as a way to promote greater awareness among students, faculty and staff.