New research published in the Journal of Cyber Security has found that cyber security risks and threats to the UK Higher Education Sector have grown exponentially post-pandemic.

An updated report has been published on the strategic significance of cyber security for universities, drafted by Universities UK (UUK), with JISC and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), with support from the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA). The report Cyber Security and Universities: Managing the Risk (2023) is an update to the previous 2019 report from the National Cyber Security Centre.

This updated report highlights the strategic importance of cyber security for UK higher education institutions and outlines the main threats and challenges universities face in this area. It describes the different types of cyber attackers and their motivations and explains the potential impacts of cyber breaches. The report also provides guidance and resources for implementing various security controls to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber-attacks, emphasising the importance of adopting a defence-in-depth approach. Senior leaders of higher education institutes are advised to keep up with the dynamic threat landscape and technological developments by conducting regular rehearsals, tests, and reviews and collaborating and sharing with the community. This report complements guidance from UUK on “Managing risks in Internationalisation: Security related issues” and the NCSC Board Toolkit, which facilitates discussions between boards and their technical experts.

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