American colleges don’t negotiate with terrorists. We simply pay them off.

Americans don’t negotiate with terrorists. Unless we’re American colleges, and just think paying them off is easier.

Reported by Higher Ed Dive, cybersecurity targets on colleges have become increasingly aggressive, with attacks having doubled between 2019 and 2020, costing colleges nearly a half million dollars on ransom pay out on average.

While some institutions like Michigan State University have publicly declared they won’t pay ransoms, the vast majority of institutions still are, having determined that keeping their students’ personal data secure is more important than a hard-line “sounds good” line against paying off cyber criminals.

The takeaway? When will higher ed start taking this massive new cost threat more seriously? And how can we improve our cybersecurity and STEM degree programs to make sure we’re graduating students who can help us in the fight?

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.