The Journal of Cyber Policy recently published the article 'Securing higher education against cyberthreats: from an institutional risk to a national policy challenge' by Dr Noran Faoud, Research Associate for Digital Pathways at Oxford.
The article problematises the understudied nature of cybersecurity in the higher education sector as an area of research and policy analysis, despite the exponential rise in cyberthreats against colleges and universities worldwide, particularly following the Covid-19 pandemic. It explains how the peculiarities of higher education as a target for cyberthreats are often overlooked due to the dominance of high-profile cyber incidents as opposed to mundane, everyday threats in policymaking and academic discourses on cybersecurity. In contrast to some studies that approach cyberthreats against educational institutions and technologies as an information technology (IT) issue in which risks are transferred to targeted institutions, this article explores the complexities of securing higher education against cyberthreats as a national policy challenge that requires national strategies and policies to address. This sectoral approach to cybersecurity also discusses possible measures that governments can adopt to improve the higher education sector’s resilience against cyberthreats and to better prepare for the inherent security vulnerabilities that come with increasing digitisation.