The IT team can’t do it alone—cyber security is everyone’s responsibility

Did you know that in 2017 the education industry (which includes K–12 and higher education institutions) had 7,837,781 records breached in 35 events? To put that into perspective, the healthcare industry had 6,058,989 records breached in 428 events, and the retail industry had 123,652,526 records beached across 33 events. 

More than half of the breaches in the education sector were caused by human error, including lost devices, physical loss, and unintended disclosure. These breaches were arguably preventable through basic information security protection safeguards.

Types of security breaches among educational institutions


how data was breached

What can you do every day to protect data? There are very few sectors other than higher education that transmit, process, access, and share as many data elements of varying sensitivity. There is not a "one size fits all" blueprint for information security controls that all institutions can follow. Yet all campus members have a responsibility to know basic information security protections to safeguard data and prevent that data from being mishandled:

  • Update your computing devices: Ensure updates to your operating system, web browser, and applications are being performed on all personal and institution-issued devices. If prompted to update your device, don't hesitate—do it immediately.

  • Create really strong and unique passwords: Create unique passwords for all personal and work accounts.

  • Enable two-factor authentication wherever it’s available: Whether for personal use or for your UA email, two-factor authentication can prevent unauthorized access even if your login credentials are stolen or lost.

  • Protect your devices: Using biometrics or six-digit passcodes on smartphones and tablets is critical to keeping curious minds from accessing personal information, work email, or retail/banking applications. It also helps protect your device if you lose or misplace it.

  • Understand where, how, and to whom you are sending data: Many breaches occur because of "oopsie moments" where we accidentally post sensitive information publicly, mishandle or send to the wrong party via publishing online, or send sensitive information in an email to the wrong person. Taking care to know how you are transmitting or posting data is critical.

Questions about how you can protect university and personal data? As always, your service desk is here to help!

Technical Support Center: (907)786-4646
Toll Free: (877) 633-3888 

Phone:       (907) 450-8300 (x8300 on campus)
Toll-free:    (800) 478-8226

907-796-6400 (Helpdesk)
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