According to recent research, which explored the levels to which universities and higher education institutions are under cyber attack and the standard of IT security implemented to defend against those attacks, suggests that some universities just aren’t equipped with the right tools and technology to effectively guard against such threats.
The research carried out in January and February of this year, across approximately 50 UK universities, found that amongst other conclusions, a quarter admitted to having critical intellectual property data infiltrated. This includes highly confidential and valuable data such as national defence, social, economic and medical research.
It stands to reason that many Universities may place analysis of Web Filtering on the back burner, with the mindset that students generally ranging in ages of 18+ wouldn’t necessarily need the same adequate online control or protection as younger students. However, with these types of threats ever growing, research such as this shows the level of importance that they need to take a more holistic approach towards security.
Statistics show that Human error is accountable for over 90% of security attacks as a result of the attackers preying on human weakness.
Students won’t necessarily know of the different types of threats which surround them. Where there is no Web Filtering present within the environment, students who may be downloading PDF research files, for example could be potentially downloading Malware, which attackers can disguise as content through anonymous proxies and amongst many other forms. This leaves open loopholes in which the attackers can further delve into different files and the overall Network.
It is therefore essential that Universities provide a safe environment for students to work within, whilst at the same time reducing target risks and making sure critical research data is protected without prohibiting the researchers capabilities.
Implementing Smoothwall’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) provides the complete security package to protect against any Malware and potential web threats before they manage pass through and display as valid content, without restricting resources.
For more information on how Smoothwall’s Solutions can help please visit our Web Security page.
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