July 6th, 2023 |
A significant cybersecurity issue has emerged in the higher education sector. Security researchers have discovered 2.2 million breached credentials from the top 100 universities in the UK on the dark web.
The credentials are used to access the university’s systems, putting staff, students, and their sensitive data at risk. Cybercriminals would have access to user accounts and research information, including that of government-funded programs in areas like nuclear energy and defense.
More than half of these credentials are related to elite Russell Group institutions, which are comprised of 24 leading UK universities. These findings highlight the high risk of cybersecurity threats the UK’s higher education sector faces.
The U.S. educational sector has seen similar metrics in 2022, bringing 96 breaches that exposed almost 1.4 million records. So far, 2023 has seen 11 breaches. The breaches since 2005 were almost evenly split between the two education sectors where 51% was in K-12 schools and 49% in universities.
Based on this recent data, it is likely that the education sector will continue to be a significant target for cyberattacks.
How Acreto’s Ecosystems can help:
Ecosystems Acreto’s Ecosystems provide a dedicated and scalable security infrastructure that can be deployed per application, use case, or third party. They limit access to only users, devices, systems, and applications that need to interoperate together, effectively reducing the attack surface. With Acreto, universities can have separate ecosystems for different departments, research groups, or even individual projects. This approach will not only increase the overall security of the system but will also isolate potential breaches, preventing them from spreading across the network.
Acreto’s Asset Security Acreto’s solutions span a wide range of access and application delivery technologies. It ensures security for devices, offices, IoTs, and third parties, as well as data centers, clouds, and SaaS/Third-Party Applications. Regardless of the type of technology in use, Acreto can secure it, providing another layer of defense for universities against cyber threats.
Minimizing the Attack Surface Acreto’s solution eliminates the Internet attack surface, and with micro-segmentation and nano-segmentation, it can isolate individual or groups of systems on a shared network, limiting access only to systems that need to interoperate together. Encrypted secure scan decrypts, scans, and re-encrypts communications inline and in real time, adding an extra level of security.
Robust Access Control and Threat Prevention Acreto’s solutions offer robust access controls, with MFA for users and unique identity specifications for devices. It provides controls at the network protocol/port level, application protocol, and program level. It also offers threat prevention capabilities utilizing both threat signature identification and zero-day behavioral analysis.
Simplified Event Tracking & Management Acreto Ecosystems are easy to provision, deploy, and manage. They do not depend on hardware, making them a sustainable solution for cybersecurity. They simplify change management and policy management due to their independent operation.
Contact Acreto today for more information or to evaluate Ecosystem security for your organization.
Ecosystem Security Isolation
Ecosystems deliver a dedicated security infrastructure that can be deployed per application, use-case, project or third party. An Ecosystem inherently limits access only to users, devices, systems and applications that need to interoperate together.
Ecosystems support any technology, on any network, anywhere in the world. These include computers, mobile devices, IoTs, Offices, Clouds, SaaS and Data Centers.
Ecosystems can be configured as:
Open → With inbound or outbound access from or to the Internet or a third-party
Closed → Fully contained with access limited to Ecosystem members
Hybrid → Where some systems have inbound or outbound Internet access while others operate fully contained.
Eliminate the Internet Attack Surface
Eliminates any and all access from the Internet while Ecosystem members can interoperate with authorized systems and applications.
Eliminate the Internal Attack Surface
Ecosystems can easily isolate individual or groups of systems on a shared network or entire networks, to limit access only to systems that need to interoperate together. This is done with
Micro-Segmentation Segmenting groups of systems on any shared network, including hostile networks or the entire network.
Nano-Segmentation Isolating an individual system, device or application to limit access only to other authorized Ecosystem members.
Isolated Data Flows
Isolated data flows can be defined between two Ecosystem members to limit access to specified sources and destinations, network protocols and ports, application protocols as well as application programs.
Encrypted Secure Scan
Secure Scan addresses a key weakness in many security tools today. 90%+ of all communications are encrypted, yet only 10% of organizations have the means to secure these communications. Encrypted Secure Scan decrypts, scans, and re-encrypts communications inline and in real-time.
Any malicious content embedded in the encrypted payload is blocked, otherwise the clean and validated communication is delivered to its final destination.
Identity with MFA
User Authorizes access to the Ecosystem by a user’s identity, including MFA, as authenticated by the organizations’ Directory Services such as Active Directory or LDAP, as well as third-party Identity Service Providers such as Okta, Ping, Duo, and CloudJump among others.
Device Specifies a unique identity to each device to validate that a specified device that does not rely on a user to operate – such as an autonomous application or IoT, is allowed to join the Ecosystem.
Network Protocol / Port
Control the network protocol (TCP, UDP, ICMP) and Port (1-65535) any Ecosystem member can use to communicate with any other Ecosystem member or Internet resource by IP, user or device identity. Both inbound and outbound Internet flows are supported.
Control the application protocol (HTTP, DNS, SMTP, SMB, etc…) any Ecosystem member can use to communicate with any other Ecosystem members or Internet resource by IP, user or device identity. Both inbound and outbound Internet flows are supported.
Control the application program (MS-Exchange, Oracle, Facebook, GMail, etc…) any Ecosystem member can use to communicate with any other Ecosystem members or Internet resource by IP, user or device identity. Both inbound and outbound Internet flows are supported.
Control communication based on content categories such as Adult, Gambling, Politics, Malware sites among 90+ category options.
File Type Upload / Download Controls
Control upload / download of files by type such .EXE, PDF, XLS, DOC, SCR, and MSI among hundreds of options.
Data Leak Prevention
Prevent data leaks by identifying and mitigating the upload or download of sensitive data such as:
Credit Cards Upload / Download Controls
Social Security Number Upload / Download Controls
RegEx Pattern Upload / Download Controls
After verification of network protocol, port, application protocol and application program, a deep inspection is performed on all communications. The effectiveness of this method is amplified by inline Encrypted Secure Scan. Threat prevention capabilities utilize two key methods:
Identifies and mitigates known bad exploits, malware, botnets and ransomware.
Zero-Day Behavioral Analysis
Looks for behavioral indication of threats based on how system functions react to the payload, immediately and over time.
Acreto Ecosystems are very easy to provision and deploy. There are no hardware dependencies or associated logistics.
Provisioning an Ecosystem takes 3-5 minutes. Simply provide a unique name to the Ecosystem then choose the bandwidth desired and within a few minutes your Ecosystem providing a dedicated security infrastructure is ready.
Depending on your connection options for Ecosystem members, deployment can take between 10 minutes to a few hours.
Acreto Ecosystems utilize a sustainable model without any dependency on products and their associated logistics. There are no more updates, upgrades or technology refreshes.
Different Ecosystems operate completely independently from one-another. Therefore, change management impacts only members of a specified Ecosystem, not the entire organization. This simplifies the traditionally complex change management process.
Policy management also benefits from Ecosystems. Because Ecosystems are specific to a customer scenario such as an application, use-case, project or third party, all policies apply to the scenario. Moreover, when it’s time for policy cleanup, when an application or use-case is retired, disabling or deleting the Ecosystem automatically prunes the policies. This has traditionally been a complex task that is at best inaccurate.
Acreto delivers full-stack cybersecurity without products, logistics or significant security expertise. It creates and consolidates the best of cybersecurity into a single plug-and-play platform with automated updates to stay ahead of threats. Acreto activates enterprise-grade security instantly, so organizations can run safely, easily, and without interruption.