malware at universities

Malware & Higher Ed: How Universities Can Reduce Risk

June 29, 2016 | By

Malware is a nasty problem. From social engineering tactics to sophisticated attack technology, malware always seems to find a way in. Attackers love to target institutions of higher education. In fact, they aim about 10 percent of all cyberattacks at universities. Penn State, the University of Calgary and Rutgers are some of the more recent and notorious examples.

Why Universities are a Target for Malware

And these often aren’t one-time problems. In fact, last year Penn State dealt with over 22 million cyberattacks per day. So what are attackers looking for?

  • Proprietary research about advanced technology or scholarship
  • Personally identifiable student information to sell for profit
  • Financial statements to hold hostage for ransom
  • Donation amounts and details to leverage for reputation attacks

With so much high-value data and many entry points into the network, it’s no wonder that cybercriminals are increasingly turning their focus to universities. The data such attacks can expose, including financial statements, student PII, alumni donations, and more, can be disastrous. This keeps many university leaders up at night, understandably. To wit, 35 percent of all breach incidents at universities were caused specifically by hacking and malware just last year. We can only expect for these numbers to keep rising.

How Universities Can Defend Against Malware

Universities large and small alike need to act fast in order to protect themselves. That said, universities focus their budgets on providing top-notch education and the infrastructure that enables that. As a result, many universities feel they cannot do much to protect themselves against cybersecurity threats. But they also can’t afford the steep costs that a breach entails. That’s where Strongarm comes in.

Strongarm offers enterprise-grade malware protection that has the ability to automatically safeguard university data (no matter what malicious link students and staff may unintentionally click on), and at a price point specifically designed for budget-conscious universities.

To learn how Strongarm can automatically and continuously keep universities safe from malware, download the Strongarm for Education Data Sheet:

Download Data Sheet

P.S. Ready to start protecting your university from malware? Sign up for our free 30-day trial.