In the past few years, the education sector has undergone unprecedented changes by adopting digital learning products and services. Meanwhile, most institutional processes have gone online, benefiting educators and students alike.
In the Kaseya 2018 State of IT Operations report, we dive into the various challenges the Education Sector faces in managing IT Operations.
With their generally open campus networks, colleges and universities must provide academic access, while securing large amounts of personal information, intellectual property and other data and assets on their networks. Among survey participants, 16% experienced a security breach in the past year and nearly half of these (among the 16%) had 2 to 4 unplanned IT outages.
Backup and Recovery Technologies Used
To keep the learning environment productive, network downtime and data loss should be minimized with effective backup and recovery solutions. By creating a plan and backing up critical and confidential data, one removes the risk of ransomware, phishing and other cyber-attacks.
Backup and data recovery within schools is changing due to the ever-expanding amount of data. Coupled with this, schools are moving towards the model of “business continuity” where the network needs to be always available for the school to function.
In the survey, 88% of the participants backup servers, 61% backup both locally and offsite, and 33% back up to the cloud in combination with other backup locations and media.
Vulnerability Management for the Education Industry
The adoption of more technology might make sensitive data more prone to leaks. To avoid this, educational institutions must not only secure their networks and data, but also demonstrate compliance with a variety of regulatory requirements.
While 74% of the participants scan all servers and workstations for OS patches regularly, 65% apply critical OS patches within 30 days of release.
As for the regulatory requirement, about 43% of the participants comply with FERPA, the federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
Top Technology Challenges in 2019
The biggest challenge faced by schools and universities is cyber security and data protection (18%). This is due to the increased number of cyber-attacks aimed at stealing personal information, extort data for money, or disrupt schools’ ability to operate and also. Meanwhile there is a lack of IT resources to thwart such attacks, and a severe shortage of IT professionals equipped to deal with the threat landscape schools face.
Legacy IT infrastructure is another area that put schools at the risk of an attack. IT teams need to constantly update software and hardware to resist such attacks, and this requires investment in technology. This takes us to the other challenge faced by institutions – reduced IT funding. Despite the push to include tablets and Chromebooks in the classroom, it is no secret that a large number of schools and colleges lack the necessary IT infrastructure to support all users.
According to our report, 14% of the participants have voted Capacity and Speed of Network Architecture and 12% of the participants have stated Shrinking IT budgets as the other top challenges they face in 2019.
Download the complete report 2018 State of IT Operations here.