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Friction 101: User Verification Efforts Should Match The Level Of Online Instruction

The incentives for colleges and universities to keep sensitive student data secure are many. Violations of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) include fines of up to $1.5 million, possible losses of federal funding and damage to reputation.

The shift to eLearning has put even more information at risk, and schools are contracting with third-party verification providers to offer protection. While schools realize that these solutions can be expensive, the consequences of risking student and faculty information such as Social Security numbers, birthdates, medical files and financial aid forms can be far costlier.

The July/August Digital Identity Tracker® explores how colleges and universities are using tools to keep students’ valuable data out of the hands of cybercriminals.

Around The Digital Identity Landscape

A survey found that 79 percent of organizations experienced breaches related to identity within the past two years. Firms’ confidence in being able to adequately secure employees’ identities slipped from 49 percent to 32 percent over the past year, according to the study. Eighty percent of the organizations surveyed said they are taking a more focused approach to identity security. Of the companies that have already instituted identity-related outcomes, 93 percent felt that such measures prevented or reduced the risk of breaches.

Numerous U.S. lawmakers have begun opposing the use of biometrics at the local and state levels, but the Security Industry Association (SIA) is teaming up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to push back, telling the White House and congressional leaders that they oppose a complete ban. SIA is instead proposing a new set of “policy principles” to ensure that the technology is used fairly and legally. It said biometric surveillance technology has helped identify individuals who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, aided in reuniting human trafficking victims with their families and cleared innocent people falsely accused of crimes, among other benefits.

Heartland Community College is spending $1 million this year to strengthen its cybersecurity defenses following a crippling cyberattack last fall. The Illinois-based college has the investment built into its 10-year capital plan, but administrators moved the spending up after hackers knocked out its system for a week. The school was reportedly still trying to fully recover smaller parts of its system as of mid-June, and multifactor authentication (MFA) and secure messaging are among the features it will adopt.

For more on these and other digital identity news, download this month’s Tracker.

Coursera On Keeping Students’ Data Secure Amid eLearning Explosion

As colleges and universities closed, the transformation to online learning was hailed as the safe alternative. But with it came a challenge for schools to protect personal, financial and healthcare data for students and staff. While federal statutes impose strict cybersecurity rules that can result in substantial fines if violated, higher education institutions are hustling to keep data secure and private.

In this month’s Feature Story, Shravan Goli, chief product officer of online course provider Coursera, explains how the eLearning platform is keeping information under lock and key.

To get the full story, download the Tracker.

Deep Dive: How Colleges, Universities Are Taking Student ID Verification Online

Colleges and universities were already in the process of becoming more digitized before the onset of the pandemic last year, but the health crisis accelerated the pace, challenging these institutions to meet federal mandates to keep student and staff data out of the hands of cyberthieves.

This month’s Deep Dive examines how colleges and universities are adopting MFA and biometrics to keep data private and protected from attacks.

Read the full Deep Dive in the Tracker.

About The Tracker

The July/August Digital Identity Tracker®, a Jumio collaboration, offers coverage of the most recent news and trends in the digital ID ecosystem.

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