Today’s colleges and universities are taking more of their operations online than ever before – and this trend is not expected to slow down anytime soon. From online registration to school-sponsored email platforms and even online classes, there is a lot of higher education data floating around on school web servers. Unfortunately, with all of this data comes some inherent security risks that higher education institutions need to be aware of.
By having a better understanding of the unique hosting challenges today’s colleges and universities face – as well as the best hosting solutions available – it’s possible to avoid serious data breaches and remain in compliance with laws regarding sensitive information.
Unique Hosting Challenges for Colleges and Universities
Institutions of higher education handle all kinds of sensitive data on a regular basis. When students register for classes, for example, they may need to provide credit card or other payment information on the college’s hosted server. Other sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, full names, and addresses, must also be kept on file not just for students, but for faculty as well. Having this data on a secure server is crucial for protecting it against possible data breaches.
Colleges and universities may also face hosting challenges when it comes to fluctuating web traffic during peak times of the academic year. For example, on class registration days, server-related downtime may prevent students from being able to register for their classes.
For campuses that offer on-site medical services, there are also specific laws in place that are designed to protect student and faculty data, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Both of these laws come with strict regulations regarding how sensitive data should be stored and protected, and schools failing to comply can face a costly FERPA violation or HIPAA violation.
How a Dedicated Server Can Help
The good news is that colleges and universities can optimize security and performance by using a dedicated server – thus reducing the likelihood of facing violations or data breaches. Specifically, dedicated servers make it possible to store data on a remote server with its own dedicated data center that is heavily guarded and protected with on-site security, surveillance, and more.
Dedicated server hosting also allows schools to avoid sharing their resources with other users, which can improve performance and cut down on latency and other issues. This can ensure peak performance for the school’s web servers, even during times of high traffic (during registration for example).
Having a dedicated server can also help colleges and universities comply with HIPAA and FERPA standards, making it possible to avoid violations and other issues. When it comes to hosting, a dedicated server is hands-down the most secure option available. Many dedicated servers also come with additional security features for more peace of mind, including standard DDoS protection, data backups, and more.
Set Up Dedicated Hosting for Higher Education Today
Today’s colleges and universities cannot afford to face HIPAA and FERPA violations, just as their reputations cannot afford a breach of sensitive information. This is where having the right hosting plan in place can make all the difference. If your school isn’t already utilizing dedicated hosting to achieve greater security and reliability, now is the time to make the switch.