Cybersecurity as a Core Competency

EDUCAUSE Showcase Series | Cybersecurity as a Core Competency

As cybersecurity threats expand and evolve, so too do the laws, policies, practices, and solutions designed to protect data and digital systems. To safeguard institutional assets and train tomorrow’s cybersecurity professionals and leaders, higher education must treat cybersecurity as a basic competency by raising awareness among users, developing plans, and assessing tools and resources.

Expanding Awareness

The first step in tackling any challenge is understanding its scope. Higher education institutions need to increase both the breadth and the effectiveness of security awareness programs for faculty, staff, and particularly students.

Read "EDUCAUSE QuickPoll Results: Growing Needs and Opportunities for Security Awareness Training," EDUCAUSE Review.

Preparing Plans

Colleges and universities need clear, widely understood processes that include steps to take before a cybersecurity incident, recognition of what to do during an incident, and knowledge of how to recover after an incident.

Read "Cybersecurity Incident Management and Response Guide," EDUCAUSE Review.

Steps to Take Before a Cybersecurity Incident. 1. Develop an Incident Response Plan. 2. Establish an Incident Response Team. 3. Conduct Regular Incident Response Training. 4. Practice Incident Response Scenarios. 5. Establish Templates and Tools. 6. Establish Partnerships with Relevant Stakeholders and External Parties. - Cybersecurity Incident Management and Response Guide

Assessing Resources and Practices

An essential activity for higher education leaders crafting an effective cybersecurity program is evaluating technologies, practices, and educational programs and choosing those best suited to the institutional context.

Explore the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity and Privacy Guide.

'Culture isn't changed overnight, but slow and steady progress in the right direction can reshape culture. The same is true for cybersecurity and privacy awareness programs.' -EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity and Privacy Guide

Showcase Webinar

Attend the Showcase Webinar | Cybersecurity as a Core Competency on March 12 to hear from institutional and industry leaders as they consider strategies for embedding cybersecurity into the institutional culture.

Spotlight shining on a capital ESolution Spotlight

"Missouri State University performed an enterprise risk assessment last year and identified cybersecurity as the #1 potential risk for the university. This allowed us to raise awareness for all employees and have conversations with our Board of Governors about potential threats that might impact the university. It also provided a catalyst to continue to make infrastructure improvements and partner with a third-party incident response team." —Jeff Coiner

Like this Solution Spotlight? Visit the EDUCAUSE Top 10 Solution Spotlights to learn how other institutions are tackling cybersecurity as a core competency.

We hope you'll take the lessons from this Showcase to advance cybersecurity training and awareness at your institution. Next up, we’ll explore strategies for addressing hiring challenges in the Hiring Resilience Showcase launching April 1.