Security & Privacy


Report: 7 in 10 Attempted Data Breaches in Education Are Financially Motivated

One in five attacks on educational institution were motivated by espionage, often targeting sensitive research, and 11 percent of attacks are "just for fun," according to the report.

Report: Security Services Spending to Top $91 Billion This Year

Spending on security, including hardware, software and services, will reach $91.4 billion this year, according to a new forecast from International Data Corp, marking a 10.2 percent increase over 2017 spending. That growth rate will remain relatively steady throughout the forecast period, according to the company, holding a compound annual growth rate of 10 percent from 2016 to 2021, when the forecast calls for $120.7 billion in spending.



Universities Launch Joint Cyber Security Operations Center

Five universities have banded together to fight cyber security threats with OmniSOC, a cyber security operations center that will provide real-time intelligence sharing and threat analysis for its members. A joint initiative of Indiana University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, OmniSOC's goal is "to help higher education institutions reduce the time from first awareness of a cyber security threat anywhere to mitigation everywhere for members," according to a news announcement. 

John Jay College Researchers Developing Open Source Database of School Shootings

A new open source database at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, developed in partnership with the University of Texas at Dallas and Michigan State University, will track shootings at K–12 schools and analyze the factors involved in such attacks. The project is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Justice's Comprehensive School Safety Initiative, a research effort focused on identifying the root causes of school violence as well as developing and evaluating strategies for boosting school safety.

Research Project Makes Incognito Browsing Even More Private

Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Harvard University recently presented a paper describing "Veil," a new system intended "to make private browsing more private." Among other security features, Veil encrypts any data stashed by the browser in memory until it's displayed on the screen; the data is unintelligible until it passes through the Veil decryption algorithm.

College-Level Cybersecurity Ed Gets Formal Makeover

A two-year effort to develop curriculum guidelines for cybersecurity education will officially be released this week, two months after a report with the details was published by a joint task force. "Cybersecurity Curricula 2017" will be introduced on February 22nd at the Annual ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education meeting taking place in Baltimore. At the same time a new "community engagement website" will also be launched.

Four in 10 Top Websites Are Dangerous

Four in 10 of the top websites pose dangers to their visitors. According to cybersecurity vendor Menlo Security, out of the top 100,000 websites as ranked by Alexa, 42 percent are "risky." A risky website is any site where either the homepage or an associated background site is running vulnerable software; the site is known to distribute malware or launch attacks; or the site has already suffered a security breach in the past 12 months.

What to Know About ED's New Stance on Data Breach Reporting

It's no longer optional for colleges and universities to report data breaches to the U.S. Department of Education — yet the agency has not clearly defined its expectations. Here's what institutions should be aware of.

1 in 10 Phishing E-mails Fool Users in Education Field

In a recent study, 10 percent of simulated phishing e-mails sent to users in education institutions were successful, triggering the recipient to click on a fraudulent link. That's according to the 2018 State of the Phish report from Wombat Security Technologies, in which researchers measured the average click rates on phishing tests across various industries. Education had an average click rate of 10 percent; the industries that performed worst in the tests were telecommunications and retail, with 15 percent and 14 percent average click rates, respectively. 

Training Cuts Phishing Success

A new study by a security training company has found that even a few months of security awareness instruction can have a big impact on how well recipients respond to phishing attempts. In the education segment, specifically, KnowBe4 found that 27.16 percent of staff were "phishing-prone" — likely to open e-mails or click on files containing malware. After three months of training, the same people were 30 percent less likely to open such e-mail; and after a year, they were 88 percent less likely to do so.

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