The Importance of IT Managed Security Services for HBCU Institutions
March 9, 2023
Founded with the goal of providing educational opportunities for Black Americans, historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) play an important role in advancing education for minority students.
However, the reality is that many HBCUs have limited financial resources to invest in IT infrastructure and security, making it challenging to implement and support adequate security measures. Add in the notion that many HBCUs are running on outdated IT systems which may not be compatible with modern security software, and you are left with an institution that is highly vulnerable to cyber threats.
To help reduce risk and improve security measures, many HBCUs are turning to IT managed services providers to help them address security, infrastructure, application support, staffing, and more. Let’s look at a few core benefits of leveraging IT Managed Services.
One of the most significant benefits of using an IT Managed Services Provider is the cost savings that it supplies an institution. Typically, HBCUs have limited financial resources to invest in IT infrastructure and security, making it difficult to implement and support the latest security measures. However, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can help HBCUs reduce their IT costs by providing a variety of services, including hardware and software procurement, implementation, and routine maintenance. By outsourcing these tasks to an MSP, the institution will save on the cost of hiring and training specialized full-time IT staff. Additionally, the MSP will help the institution avoid downtime and data loss, which could result in significant financial losses.
Access to Skilled IT Professionals
HBCUs do not always have the resources to access the specialized IT professionals needed to manage the institution’s IT infrastructure effectively. By using IT managed services, HBCUs gain access to a team of experienced higher ed IT professionals who can provide the technical expertise and support they need to keep their systems running smoothly. The right MSP can provide the institution with a range of IT services, from basic hardware/software support to more advanced services including cloud computing and virtualization. Outsourcing key tasks to the MSP will save costs with payroll while existing IT professionals can focus on priority projects.
Scalability and Flexibility
As HBCUs grow and expand, they may need to add new software, hardware, and services to support their IT infrastructure. An MSP can help the institution quickly and easily scale up their IT infrastructure to meet their evolving needs. Additionally, MSPs can supply flexible service plans that can be customized to meet the unique goals and budget of each HBCU.
Increased Protective Measures
Cyberattacks continue to rise across higher education and HBCUs are no exception to this reality. Limited resources and less robust security systems create an increased risk at HBCU institutions. Not only can campus-level vulnerabilities result in personal data including student and medical records to be stolen during a cyberattack, but they can also cause classes to be canceled, delays with course registration, admissions, and in extreme cases force an institution to close its doors.
A skilled MSP can provide a strategic security roadmap for HBCUs to implement security measures including firewalls, data encryption, intrusion detection systems/security operations center, and more to help fortify and protect their networks from incoming threats. Additionally, the MSP can support on-prem to cloud migration, ensuring servers and critical applications can be supported regardless of their location.
Maintaining the security and privacy of sensitive information starts with ensuring your institution maintains the latest compliance requirements. However, staying on top of all the latest amendments happening between GLBA, HIPAA, FERPA, GDPR and more, can be a full-time job. Most MSPs have internal compliance experts that can assess risks within an institution’s current ecosystem. Robust risk and compliance assessments will find potential gaps and your trusted MSP can implement best practices to ensure federal compliance is implemented and supported before a potential deadline.
Managed Security Services from OculusIT
OculusIT is proud to work with HBCU institutions across the country to improve their institutional security and IT networks. As their Managed Security Services Provider of choice, our HBCU partner institutions focus on strategic priorities and leave the day-to-day security tactics to us. From 24×7 monitoring of assets to risk and compliance management, OculusIT serves as an extension of your campus IT team and can even help with leadership and strategic guidance.
If you’d like to learn more about the impact we’ve made at HBCU schools including Morehouse College, Grambling State University, Prairie View A&M University, Delaware State University, and others, let us know. We’d love to share more.