Closing the gap in account security in today’s hybrid academic environment 

August 10, 2022 3 minute read

Over the last two years, students, faculty and administrators of academic and educational institutions have faced many challenges, including jumping between in-person and remote learning. With the introduction of new and shared devices to accommodate these ever-changing environments, hackers quickly took advantage of the gaps in account security that hadn’t yet been accounted for, which resulted in an onslaught of cyberattacks.

These gaps in account security have been so significant that based on recent trend analysis, Microsoft found that more than 8 in 10 reported cyberattacks occurred in educational institutions. 

So what can be done to ensure faculty and students stay safe from future attacks? The answer may be more cost-effective and accessible than you think: enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). Taking that a step further, require your staff and students to use phishing-resistant MFA options including physical security keys like the YubiKey, which prevent phishing attacks by requiring a physical touch on the key to access online accounts. 

Yubico recently worked with the students and staff at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication PR Lab to better understand their preferences for MFA. Here’s what the lab’s instructor, John James Nicoletti, had to say about their experience: 

“Digital security is becoming increasingly important to college students and those who serve them. After being introduced to YubiKey, the students in our Public Relations Lab, an immersion program that provides students with real-world experience, worked with Yubico on a strategic communications plan to educate their peers and parents on the value of digital security.”

With phishing-resistant MFA enabled, organizations like Google have reported zero account takeovers since rolling out the YubiKey to their staff. The simplicity and flexibility of the keys allow users to quickly and securely move between devices, which helps close the gap for worrisome account security in today’s hybrid educational and academic settings.

The keys work out-of-the-box with hundreds of applications and services, including Google Suite, password managers, social media accounts and more.

If you’re a student, faculty, and/or administrator of an academic or educational institution, you can take advantage of our current Back to School offer of 20% off any 2 keys from our Security Key Series using code ‘SUMMER22’ at checkout at yubico.com/store. Additionally, new 1Password Families customers can receive 25% off their first year for the secure password manager here.

For more information on cybersecurity in education, including how cyber insurance policies can make an impact, check out our recent blog here. If you’d like to learn more about how to modernize authentication in education, you can watch our on-demand webinar here.

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