Information security for higher education institutions

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Maintaining network and data security in any large organization is a major challenge. However, in the higher education environment, the protection of IT assets and sensitive information must be balanced with the need for openness and academic freedom, making this an even more difficult and complex task.

Higher education equals higher complexity

Cyber criminals know the value of higher education. Hackers can gain valuable access to students, staff, and alumni social security numbers and financial information, as well as target intellectual property and patent information held by university research staff.

Additionally, students arrive on campus with their own personal computers, gaming systems, and other devices that they use to connect to the university network. Many of those devices are infected with malware, which can easily be connected to the institution’s network.

Coalfire understands the intricacies, structure, and dependencies found in the environments of higher education institutions: multiple campuses and departments, numerous buildings, thousands of users, hundreds of network switches and servers, and more.

We have helped universities of all sizes and structures identify risks and close gaps in their environment. Our experience with all the major compliance frameworks, cyber risk advisory and assessments, vendor risk management, as well as new and emerging technologies, enables us to help higher education institutions understand threats, mitigate risk, and plan for the future.

When a higher education institution chooses Coalfire, they get an entire team dedicated to helping them address their security and compliance requirements. This qualified, experienced team comprises lead auditors and assessors, project managers, and directors – all of whom are dedicated to ensuring cybersecurity efforts align with the business and deliver results.

Campus library computers

Benefits of working with Coalfire:

  • Develop a comprehensive cybersecurity approach.
  • Protect data that ranges from personal and medical information, to financials and intellectual property. 
  • Receive independent, vendor-agnostic advice and validation of IT controls.
  • Identify vulnerabilities and close gaps.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest threats.
  • Effectively manage third-party risk.
  • Address compliance requirements with a consolidated approach.

Why higher educational institutions choose Coalfire

  • We work with some of the largest public and private universities and university systems in the U.S., and we also have extensive experience with small colleges.
  • Our cybersecurity experts host webinars, seminars, and speaking engagements to keep the higher education industry educated and up-to-date on threats, risk mitigation, and cybersecurity program development and management.
  • As one of the original Qualified Security Assessor firms, we have performed thousands of Payment Card Industry (PCI) assessments.
  • We partner with leading providers of compliance reporting tools and portals that help clients efficiently address their self-assessment questionnaire requirements.

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