What kind of cyber security incidents should my higher education institution be prepared for?
The below fact sheets and webinars discuss cyber security concerns that colleges and universities should be aware of and the initial steps they can take to be prepared.
- Cybersecurity Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education | REMS TA Center. Read this fact sheet for information on threats facing higher ed systems and networks; preparing for, responding to, and recovering from threats; and cybersecurity’s relation to EOP development and planning.
- Webinar: Integrating Cybersecurity With Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) | REMS TA Center. Learn about the importance of cybersecurity and network protection at colleges and universities.
- Addressing Adversarial- and Human-Caused Threats That May Impact Students, Staff, and Visitors | REMS TA Center. Access resources from the REMS TA Center, U.S. Department of Education, and Federal agency partners on the topic of planning for adversarial- and human-caused threats, such as cyber safety and cybersecurity, within both K-12 schools and institutions of higher education.
How can my institution ensure we are prepared for a cyber-security attack?
Colleges and universities should meet with their Chief Information Officer and security teams regularly to review new and existing systems for data security. Cyber safety should be included in emergency operations plans and should be part of regular exercises to ensure plans are operational and adjustments can be made.
Conducting exercises is an integral part of school safety and is one of the most effective ways to evaluate the EOP and emergency procedures. The more a plan is practiced and tested and the more stakeholders are trained on the plan, the more effectively the whole school community will act before, during, and after an emergency to lessen the impact on life and property. The exercise continuum (e.g., tabletops, simulations, drills) provides opportunities to practice with community partners, validate courses of action, and identify any gaps and weaknesses in the plan.
Not only do exercises promote school and community preparedness, but they also help develop and foster effective relationships with community partners, clarify the roles and responsibilities of school staff and community partners, assess the availability of resources and capabilities to respond to emergencies, and identify areas in need of improvement.
Cyber Security Exercise Resource List
Below are some exercise resources from the REMS TA Center and the US Department of Homeland Security related to higher education cyber-safety.
- Integrating Drills and Exercises Into Overall School Emergency Management Planning - REMS TA Center, U.S. Department of Education, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Learn about planning for and executing drills as a part of overall EOP development.
- Cyber Breach Exercise Starter Kit | U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Obtain an exercise starter kit to conduct a cyber-breach tabletop exercise.
Tool Box | REMS TA Center. Access tools developed by school and higher ed emergency managers across the country via this virtual library:
- University Cyber Attack! Tabletop Exercise | University of Alaska Anchorage
- Cyber Security Tabletop Exercise | University of Southern Mississippi
- Preparing for a Cyber Security Breach Before One Occurs: University of Southern Mississippi National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security’s Cyber Security Tabletop Exercise | REMS TA Center. Read about the development and implementation of a cybersecurity scenario as a part of a tabletop exercise and the institution of higher education’s lessons learned.
National Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education | U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Read situation manuals and summary reports of tabletop exercises for institutions of higher education that took place on campuses in Utah and Indiana.
- Failure in campus infrastructure caused by cyber-attack
- Cyber threats
- Leadership Tabletop Exercise Cybersecurity Overview and Resource Guide | U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Find information about this half-day tabletop exercise for institutions of higher education that took place in North Dakota.