How to Secure BYOD Data on Today's University and College Campuses

According to InfoWatch’s Global Data Leakage Report, there were 10 percent more data leaks in the first half of 2015 than in the same period of 2014. Ninety percent of these data leaks were personal data with more than 262 million records compromised, including personal identification and payment information.

At the same time, the number of smartphones and tablets in the world continued to rise with attacks on mobile devices increasing. By 2017, Gartner predicts that endpoint breaches will shift from traditional PCs to tablets and smartphones.

For today’s universities and colleges, these statistics cannot be ignored. As students and faculty bring their own devices on campuses and into the classroom, BYOD policies are transforming education by improving students’ academic engagement, teacher interaction, and online learning effectiveness. Consider the benefits:

  • Improved productivity and user experience — students and faculty can choose the device they are most comfortable using, helping improve academic engagement and performance.
  • Increased collaboration — students, faculty, and researchers can better work on common projects and share data with internal and external colleagues to collaborate and advance their studies and research.

As university IT departments accommodate this new way of learning, their being forced to “loosen the reins” and allow students and faculty to use their own devices.

But, at what cost?

Mobile technologies and BYOD policies promise great results for educational institutions, but they can also create challenges for IT departments responsible for securing and managing data. Only authorized users should be able to access content from the institution’s file servers, NAS, and computers, and only they should be able to share it with other authorized internal and external colleagues and students.

With a good BYOD data protection solution, education IT departments can remotely monitor and correct security situations, as well as stop unauthorized individuals from accessing private information. By implementing permissions and sharing restrictions, IT can also stop students from unintentionally sharing information with others. And to keep track of it all, IT can even audit who accessed what information and when.

In short, mobility and BYOD can be indispensable for today’s field and mobile students, faculty, and researchers, reducing work efforts and saving time as students can create, access, and edit work outside of the laboratory, library, or classroom setting. But, it needs to be done in a safe and secure way that protects university data at all times.

If you’re looking for an effective solution to empower your students and faculty with mobile content management, while keeping data safe and secure on your campus, check out Acronis Access Advanced. Over 1,700 colleges, universities, and research centers around the world use Acronis products to protect and access their institutional data. You can also give it a try right now - download an Acronis Access Advanced free trial today!