Blog post

Defending your university against the top 3 cyber threats

Created:  01 Nov 2018
Updated:  01 Nov 2018
Author:  Daisy S
Image of a text book, notepad, and phone in a neat pile

Universities and colleges are responsible for their own cyber security, so the NCSC have been working closely with Jisc, the digital services provider for academia, to help create a secure environment both to live and learn online.

Jisc recently asked universities and colleges to take part in the Jisc Cyber Security Posture Survey 2018, which explores the challenges that universities and colleges face today and how they are going about dealing with them. The results of this survey have been recently made available. It is important that detailed, relevant and timely information about a whole range of issues is available to higher and further education institutions, and the 2.5 million students and staff learning and working in universities across the UK. For this reason, the NCSC welcomes the news that investment in this sector is increasing, according to the survey

Thankfully, when Jisc asked it's members where they had been looking for their cyber security advice and guidance, the NCSC was already seen as a valued source of information.

As part of the survey, participants were asked to share what they felt are the top three cyber security threats they face today. The results are given in the table below, together with links to the relevant NCSC guidance that you can use to protect your institution.

Jisc's Top Three Threats1 NCSC Guidance
Phishing / social engineering
Ransomware / malware
Lack of awareness or accidents

1. Taken from 'Cyber attacks on colleges and universities: who, when and why?'

If you'd like to learn more about the research conducted by Jisc, a summary of the report is now available on their website. Cyber security is a growing issue for education, so we'd love to hear more about your experiences, and whether NCSC guidance has helped you with your cyber security decision-making. Leave us a message in the comments section below or feel free to contact us through the usual channels.

Daisy S
Head of Academia and Education, NCSC


Jordan M. Schroeder - 02 Nov 2018
As the Managing CISO for most of the Universities and Colleges in Scotland, I would like to extend my deep gratitude to the NCSC and JISC for their dedication and their expertise in helping the HE/FE sectors secure themselves, the people they serve, and the nation at large. I look forward to even more collaboration and shared resources to secure the nation's education, research, and innovation.
Nick Holden - 17 Dec 2018
I am just about to start working with a large UK university and will use this article as a reference point.

Leave a comment

Was this blog post helpful?

We need your feedback to improve this content.

Yes No