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Protecting Your IT Security Isn’t Just For Term Time. 3 Actions Educational Organisations Need to Start the School Year.


The end of the year is fast approaching, and while this means school’s out for students and teachers, for IT departments, the clock doesn’t stop when it comes to protecting your valuable data. 

The recent high profile security breaches we have seen across the news are a timely reminder that no organisation is safe from a debilitating cyber attack. Not only do you need to protect your institution’s data, but you also have a responsibility to protect the privacy of your students and staff members. 

According to the Check Point Research Cyber Attack Trends: 2022 Mid-Year Report, Education still leads as the most targeted industry, with an average of 2,297 attacks against institutions every week in the first half of 2022, showing a 44% increase compared to the first half of 2021. 


So with the issue of cyber security within the education sector still prevalent, we wanted to share the 3 fundamental security and compliance actions we recommend assessing within your institution to ensure your new school year is set up for success. 

Laying The Foundations 

For IT security systems to work, the foundations need to be laid from the beginning – not an add-on or an afterthought, but an integral part of your institution’s digital infrastructure. 

By embedding digital transformation into your organisation’s culture, you’ll have buy-in from leadership that this digital world is here to stay. This might mean IT teams need to take their leadership teams on an educational journey – helping them understand the digital components, the benefits, the risks and the requirements for your institution to stay relevant and, importantly, secure with the appropriate cyber security governance in place. 

From what we see here at Truis with our education customers, IT needs a seat at the table to get the foundations in place to kick off the new school year in a position of strength. 

Ideally, this means IT stakeholders are part of the institutional decision-making processes so that the right foundations can be implemented. All stakeholders are committed to being part of your digital transformation and security framework – protecting from the inside. 

A critical piece to success is ensuring that students and staff are provided with cyber safety education to recognise attacks when they occur, such as phishing attacks and the steps for reporting these threats.

However, solid security foundations also start with laying down the security fundamentals; At Truis, we advise the below steps as a good starting block for review to plan for the coming school year and be protection ready: 



  • Define relevant threats that may harm the organisation’s security posture and identify vulnerabilities such as unauthorised access, weak passwords and the use of compromised USBs as part of prevention planning. 
  • Proactively monitor your data, perform advanced analytics to test your pressure points, and practice security response procedures so you’re ready to go if a cyber attack occurs.
  • Layering your security systems, employing a firewall, continuous network activity monitoring, robust authentication methods such as two-factor authentication, and detection software to mitigate potential threats. 

Remove The Risk

For educational institutions, the financial impact of an attack can be crippling. With the total bill for rectifying a breach in the education sector, taking into account downtime, people time, device cost, network costs, and lost opportunity, is monumental. 


Your IT strategy can be designed to reduce risk by factoring in some essential considerations. Here at Truis, we work with many educational institutions on their security strategy to stay compliant and ahead of regulatory requirements.


  • Employing network segmentation to help reduce outbreak exposures, so if there is a breach, you’re not leaving your entire network open to attack.
  • Backing up your data, which we all know is essential, can get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list when business, as usual, takes priority. At Truis, we strongly recommend regularly running your backups, and leveraging secure vaults to store them separately, so they aren’t also lost if a breach occurs. 
  • Know your data and test your restoration procedures by reducing vulnerable entry points and automating your defences with intelligent technology. Consider solutions such as a secure cloud platform with inbuilt AI where you can rely on proactive, intelligent data monitoring and reliable processes can be leveraged to help keep you protected. 
  • Passwords matter; spend some time over the 2022 break to review and strengthen passwords that you use for logging onto remote resources, especially relevant with the hybrid approach to learning still being utilised, especially within higher education.

Privacy Matters 

When you’re managing the IT of an educational institution, privacy matters. As we know, educational institutions store a wealth of data on their students, including phone numbers, email and home addresses, medical information, third-party data such as usernames, passwords, and metadata. 

You need to move towards ‘privacy by design’, where privacy solutions are embedded into the operation of technologies early on, providing strong protection of private information. 

Here are a few of our Truis best practices to consider when refreshing your student privacy protection. 


  • Evaluating your data privacy landscape: Conduct an internal audit of your privacy and security efforts. Assess your current policies and procedures and look for vulnerabilities. Consider third-party vendors you partner with, looking into their data collection to understand how they use your student’s information.
  • Integrate student privacy laws into your policies: Keep compliance in mind when you create your formal data privacy plan. Not only will this help you meet regulatory requirements, but it will also help you stay up to date with the latest industry sector guidelines.
  • Look at how you can leverage cloud security to your advantage:  Consider a layered cloud security platform where you can monitor your entire network for phishing emails, inappropriate file sharing, and other data leaks or breaches from a single dashboard – eliminating threats within minutes which can all be automated, allowing you to focus on other essential management tasks.
  • Create a culture of caution and develop a comprehensive security profile that simplifies security controls and compliance management, which includes regular employee and student cybersecurity training.

Get back to school ready

Now is the time to start putting solid foundations in place for your 2023 school year. 

The summer holiday is a perfect time to take stock of your current security posture and how to make enhancements to your security processes and test new systems and solutions before embedding them into the institution’s framework before students and staff return in the new year. 

If you’re after some expert for guidance to get your security fundamentals streamlined and geared up for the new school term, we can help. 

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