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LastPass Identifies Risks, Solutions, and Strategies for Higher Education Institutions

  • Password management proves a reputable solution amid growing cyberattacks facing IT teams in Academia

LastPass by LogMeIn, an industry leading password management solution, released a study on the solutions and strategies needed to protect critical systems and sensitive data based on an IDG survey of 300 IT professionals employed at higher education institutions. The company’s report suggests the best strategy to stop cyberattacks in higher education is instituting better password hygiene through a password management tool.

The IDG survey found that 88 percent of institutions suffered an IT security infringement because of poor password management this year alone. Four in 10 respondents reported difficulty keeping up with cyberattacks, and 32 percent were stymied by the task of protecting every entry point and device accessing the institution’s data and applications.

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A password manager can help solve these problems. Password management involves storing, securing, and managing credentials by following best practices including saving passwords in an encrypted, digital vault and never reusing a password to prevent unauthorized access to an organization’s data. When selecting a password manager for a higher education institution, the top needs to consider are:

  • Ease of use and convenient password storage. The survey showed that 75 percent of respondents report ease-of-use as a critical feature when evaluating a vendor’s solution. Users should be able to generate unique passwords, easily save and fill credentials, and rely on secure and flexible sharing for collaborative teams, from IT to the marketing department, even those external to the institution such as students and alumni, all while maintaining accountability.
  • Greater control of employee-student hybrid environments. Twenty-seven percent of respondents want integrations with an existing environment. Using an intuitive and centralized administration console, a password management solution can provide IT leaders with greater insight into their working environment and more access control – without a heavy lift. For example, by integrating with an existing user directory and revoking user access in real time, IT teams can ensure critical data doesn’t depart each semester along with migrating staff and students
  • Custom packaging to meet varying needs. Twenty-five percent of respondents want group management, and by offering highly customizable packages, the right solution can accommodate a wide array of IT needs, including secure password management for IT teams and collaborative staff departments
  • Personal accounts and accessibility for all. According to respondents, 24 percent want secure accessibility from any browser and device. To better serve today’s diverse study body, the right password management solution should be able to offer private vault functionality for personal credentials, plus keyboard navigation, updated proper color contrast, and readability for accessible use for everyone on campus. The solution should also include added regions and language tags to allow users to navigate with screen readers and keyboards.

This latest study includes commentary from Kim Milford, Executive Director, The Research and Education Networks Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC). Having reviewed this data, Milford agrees, “Password management solutions can complement institutional policies and identity management practices by improving user convenience, reducing the risks of password reuse and password sharing, and enhance the administration of account terminations and forgotten passwords.”

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With professional and personal lives quickly merging, it’s crucial that all faculty, staff and students protect their digital life – especially when accessing an institute’s data, like email and learning apps, from personal devices on and off campus. Recognizing this need, LastPass can reduce the cyber risk to your institute by not only securing your employees and students, but their networks as well!

All LastPass Business account holders receive Families as a Benefit – a premium, personal LastPass account with six total licenses, to share with those closest to them. Students associated with the institution without a Business account will receive a single Premium LastPass account – perfect for driving online safety with student populations.

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