The new school semester has begun and is off to a great start. Your students are engaged, prepared and full of spirit. Ready for their first test, they log in to their online student portal to access the exam. Just as the test is about to begin, the website crashes. Panic ensues among the students, who instantly turn to twitter and email for help.

Here’s what happened: The school did not have proper website security in place and consequently was the target of a data breach that shut down its website. Higher education institutions are attractive and lucrative targets to cybercriminals. In 2015, the education sector was among the top three sectors breached, behind healthcare and retail. College campuses store a wealth of confidential student and faculty data, including medical records, financial information and intellectual property for products and prescription drugs. Some of the most common attacks cybercriminals use to breach higher education institutions are hacking, malware and DDoS attacks.

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