Universities ignore cyber threat at their peril

Universities are bombarded on a daily basis with information about cybercrime and security, almost to the point where it feels that little else needs to be done other than trust in the IT department’s skills and get on with life.

But does this mean students and academic staff are safe? Is their research and partner companies’ data really secure? Will an institution’s computers, libraries and facilities function without hiccup thanks to the new wave of encryption, site blocks and alerts that have arrived in recent months?

In a word, no. Universities will never be 100 per cent secure because no one is completely safe when it comes to cyber security.

As Henry Hughes, deputy chief information security officer at Jisc, pointed out at a recent higher education conference: “Half of you are not doing any student training in cyber security.”

Supporting this statement, he added that a Jisc survey of 22,000 students’ satisfaction at

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