Cybersecurity for Higher Education

University lecture hall full of people

Use cases for the higher education industry relating to: Data exfiltration, unauthorized access, detecting anonymous traffic and nation-state cyber espionage.

The high volume of personal information and research data stored by higher education institutions, coupled with limited security budgets and headcount, makes this industry a prime target for cybercrime.

In this document, we look at several use cases that outline how LogRhythm’s security offerings provide industry-leading automation, compliance, and auditing support, comprehensive reporting, and protection against advanced threats. Getting educated with LogRhythm will prevent higher education facilities from getting schooled by hackers.

Download the Use Case

Data Exfiltration

Challenge: Data loss remains a growing threat for organizations of any size. In 2019, there were more than 3,800 reported data breaches, with 52 percent more records exposed than in 2018. And the outlook appears bleak for the remainder of 2020. There have already been several high-profile breaches in the first half of 2020, and the estimated cost of a data breach in 2020 is over $150 million.1

Solution: The LogRhythm XDR Stack enables organizations to detect, qualify, and remediate data exfiltration attempts. NetworkXDR goes beyond network traffic analysis with an integrated set of capabilities and workflows for detecting, qualifying, investigating, and responding to advanced threats hidden in network traffic data. LogRhythm NetworkXDR can help detect unknown network-borne threats like data exfiltration and help teams remediate and contain an issue quickly with automated response features.

Additionally, UserXDR, LogRhythm’s user and entity behavioral analytics (UEBA) solution, tracks unauthorized data access and exfiltration, e.g. when a compromised user account or a rogue insider finds sensitive data on your network. Our full-spectrum analytics and file integrity monitoring (FIM) can help you detect when a user inappropriately accesses protected data — in real time.

Unauthorized access to critical data

Challenge: For universities, information about assessment criteria, research data, student information, etc. is critical to daily operations. It is very common to see unauthorized access instances due to lack of safeguard mechanisms to information and IT resources. Sometimes, this will result in the loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the technology assets.

Solution: Universities should implement an effective IT security strategy to protect critical data and assets. The strategy will help ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems — intellectual property vital to universities. Additionally, they help protect a universities reputation and employee and student privacy.

Detecting anonymous network traffic

Challenge: Anonymous browsers act as a medium for cyberthreats such as malware, botnet, and DDoS attacks, as well as methods of information theft. It’s common to see new browsers developed to hide user identity on the internet.

For example, the Tor browser was built primarily for anonymous browsing without cybersecurity needs or security requirements in mind.

The Tor browser works by employing a technique called “onion routing”. Onion routing works by encapsulating messages in layers of encryptions that are then transmitted through a series of nodes called “onion routers”.

Universities need to consider implementing various tools to detect threats hidden in anonymous traffic and automate actions to remediate threats.

Solution: LogRhythm provides detection, alert and automation capabilities for anonymous traffic.

Organizations can leverage LogRhythm to detect anonymous traffic in multiple ways as below:

  1. Threat intelligence feeds
  2. Threat detection modules
  3. LogRhythm Labs list updates
  4. User and entity behavior analytics
  5. LogRhythm NetMon

Nation-state cyber espionage, a worrying trend

Challenge: There is increasing risk from cyber espionage targeting countries and organizations. Recently, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison went live on various media outlets and announced targeted cyberattacks to Australian Governments and businesses and a need for organizations to protect themselves from being targeted.

When reviewing the government advisories there were multiple references to the tactics, techniques, and procedures listed in the MITRE ATT&CK framework.

Solution: LogRhythm has published several modules to help organizations achieve rapid deployment with minimal configuration. These modules not only cover security best practices, but also cover key areas where organizations need to focus. The modules have references to use cases and its prerequisites, thus helping organizations focus on implementation, gain visibility, and remediate based on findings.

LogRhythm Threat Detection Modules

Core Threat Detection Module: This module is a collection of fundamental AI Engine (AIE) rules that can be utilized to provide a balanced and basic level of security coverage with minimal configuration. Additionally, this rule set can be used as an introduction to AIE rules before an organization begins moving on to more complex and customisable rules.

Download the Core Threat Detection Module Guide >>

MITRE ATT&CK Module: MITRE ATT&CK™ is an open knowledge base of observed adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world observations. This framework enables broad sharing of adversarial behaviors across the attack lifecycle and provides a common taxonomy for threat analysis and research. The LogRhythm MITRE ATT&CK Module provides prebuilt content mapped to ATT&CK within the LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform, including analytics, dashboard views, and threat hunting tools. This content enables you to detect adversaries and improve your security program as prescribed by the MITRE ATT&CK framework.

Download the MITRE ATT&CK Module Guide >>

Network Detection and Response Module: The LogRhythm Network Threat Detection Module delivers comprehensive analytics beyond what legacy Network Behavior Anomaly Detection (NBAD) and flow analysis tools can provide. This module empowers your organisation to understand the network activity occurring in your environment by delivering automated, preconfigured rules, dashboards, investigations, and reports that reduce the time it takes to detect and respond to a broad range of cyberthreats.

Download the Network Detection and Response Module Guide >>

[1] Prevent Data Exfiltration with Network Traffic Analytics >