Mitigating Security Risks When Campus Network Demands Surge

IT teams should expect periodic traffic surges when working in an educational institution, preparing for new course registrations’ network demands, or welcoming your learners back after a break. When these surges happen, and the network becomes overwhelmed, it is up to the IT team to ensure that all users have enough bandwidth while maintaining security

To do this and ensure that all university stakeholders can safely and efficiently access their networks, IT teams and leaders can use contemporary network management tools. Let’s discuss some of these tools and methods. 

Cyberthreats During Surges Can Be Mitigated by Increased Visibility

As network users’ volume increases and each person’s demands on that network increases, IT specialists in higher education institutions might find some malicious activities slipping in. Cybercriminals must not be allowed to gain access to a university network, particularly when network usage surges.

A university network can be expanded by integrating cloud technologies. Doing this will allow IT teams to manage endpoints from one centralized dashboard, giving them the reach they need to ensure that the network is protected, regardless of how busy it is. 

Using Contemporary Monitoring Tools to Prepare for Internet Surges

Although it is possible for network surges to happen randomly, some spikes can be predicted and thus be prepared for. These predictable surges will often occur during finals week or on the first day back to school. 

Whether the surge can be predicted or not, learners are still susceptible to cybercrime when they happen. Although the IT team is still responsible for protecting their sensitive infomation, learners and staff will want to connect quickly and share and collaborate over an open network. 

Maintaining a balance between protection, performance and network access can be tricky, but the network can be accessed freely without worrying about cybercriminals when it is done right. 

Considering the Increase in Mobile and Personal Devices

IT teams also need to consider that, although planning for short, periodic increases in the network demand during the school year, they should also be thinking about the long term. According to Infoblox’s recent surveys, 25% of learners use gaming consoles, 27% use smartwatches and 61% use tablets to connect to the internet. 

A few years ago, IT teams only had to concern themselves with the management of school devices and potentially faulty and learner laptops. This is no longer the case. 60% of learners, faculty and IT professionals use four or more devices connected to the campus network. 

IT leaders must keep these long-term changes in mind as online courses, active learning, and esports converge at higher education institutions. 

Conclusion

Network security will always be at the front of the IT professional’s mind, and the stress of cybercrime only becomes more severe during network surges. However, if you can plan and prepare, you can mitigate these security risks.

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