- The sheer quantity of data available now to higher education institutions offers administrators the opportunity to make informed analytical decisions. But, doing this properly requires investing in staff and ensuring campus-wide education on data use and security is implemented, reports EdTech Magazine in it's survey of tech thought leaders.
- Experts say it's vital for schools to create processes of cleaning massive amounts of data for relevancy, and develop local IT support, as third-party support alone may not suffice for the amount of work necessary.
- Additionally, universities will have to train faculty on the cybersecurity risks inherent in offering widespread access to the data of individuals on campus, with Wheeler saying people ought to view public Wi-Fi "with the same caution as a public restroom."
As institutions invest in data tools, it's important for there to be synergy between IT systems, the CIO, faculty, staff and students, in order to mitigate security risks. In the past CIOs have expressed concern to Education Dive about members of the campus lacking technical experience in cybersecurity on campuses, with one expressing dismay that faculty and students often don't recognize the typical phishing e-mail.
In dealing with this, Ed Jalinske, the director of Cybersecurity Education and Awareness for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says it is important for administrators to base cybersecurity education on promoting awareness rather than fear or doubt. And, schools should take advantage of the fact that private mobile service providers have strong records on cybersecurity. Further, Jalinske explains schools will not see the robust benefits of data use in decision making if they garner a reputation as being weak on digital privacy — a reality which highlights the importance of developing a highly secure Wi-Fi system.
The sheer amount of data available to colleges and universities makes data storage an important point for administrations. Already, many colleges and universities additionally are turning to cloud storage to accommodate the massive amounts of data, as well as investing in IT staff to ensure privacy of personal data is valued in the move to the cloud. Schools should ensure that privacy concerns are embedded in contract negotiations, according to University Business, and should encourage administrators and staff to collaborate with IT professionals to learn best security practices.