Resources for information security

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

Starting an information security awareness program on campus can help employees and students understand and avoid risks that compromise data.

Information security is everyone’s responsibility and it requires a multi-layered, well-defined strategy to minimize the risk of exposure and the interruption of business. Higher education has long known the importance of information security and protecting data. Several recent articles by the American Association of Community Colleges in the CC Daily and Community College Journal have reflected how heavily this topic weighs on the minds of college leaders.

To reach across all of higher education, EDUCAUSE created the Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC), which develops and promotes information security leadership, awareness and understanding; effective practices and policies; and guidance for the protection of critical data, IT assets and infrastructures. In 2018, EDUCAUSE ran a Campus Security Awareness Campaign, and is a repository for information security resources.

A first step for colleges? Start an Information Security Awareness Program to better make employees and students aware of risks to personal and institutional information and information technology and to help them avoid those risks. HEISC provides a quick start guide for colleges in the early stages of starting a security awareness program, as well as a detailed instruction manual for those hoping to advance their program.

The quick start guide includes a template for creating a security awareness plan, tips for what to include in new employee orientations — as well as new student orientations — and a toolkit for developing a campus security awareness website.

The detailed instruction manual offers a lot of guidance on messaging. It includes tips on how to leverage social media to connect with members of the college community, especially students and how to develop and brand campus-specific posters, videos and newsletters.

Valerie Vogel, interim director of the cybersecurity program at EDUCAUSE, will speak on the topic of information security in a spotlight session at the 99th Annual AACC Convention in Orlando, Florida. She’ll be joined by Monique Umphrey, vice president of workforce innovation and dean of the IT Center of Excellence at Ohio’s Cuyahoga Community College. The session will take place on April 15.

Not registered for the convention? Click here to register.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.