Coventry University puts security at the heart of its cloud-first strategy

The school goes cloud-first but aims to lead its sector when it comes to cybersecurity.

Universities can make juicy targets for attackers of all stripes: state-tied advanced persistent threat (APT) groups that want intellectual property (IP), criminals that want money, even the students themselves who might be looking to cause trouble. They all pose a potential threat. 

Last year 76 universities located across the world were attacked by hackers reportedly linked to Iran. In 2016 the University of Calgary was forced to pay $20,000 after a ransomware attack. In 2017 a group of students used a network of campus vending machines and light sensors to overwhelm their institution’s network.

Despite the range of threat actors, many university networks remain vulnerable. A recent penetration testing study carried out by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Jisc found that its researchers were able to gain access to high-value data within two hours on every single higher education network they tested.

With students now digitally native, universities need double down on serving digital services in a way that that doesn’t impact security or learning availability. 

Security in a time of digital transformation

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