5 Critical Security Metrics To Prioritize for Higher Ed

Higher education institutions are under constant threat from cyber-attacks. Cyber security is a top priority for higher ed, but it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve compiled 5 of the most important metrics that every institution should be tracking in order to keep their data safe and secure. These metrics will help you prioritize your efforts so that you can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting your network and data.

Number of Employees with Access To Sensitive Data

To keep your network secure, you must first know where the most entry points exist. This means knowing who has access to sensitive data and systems at all times. If a device is lost, stolen or a user leaves the university, they need to be taken off of access lists immediately . Leaving them on could result in a breach that would have otherwise been prevented. This metric will help you know where to direct your efforts when it comes to protecting your network.

Number of Network Attacks

This is a simple way to measure how many attacks are being performed on your network every day. It’s important to track this metric because if cyber-attacks are increasing or remaining at the same level, it’s time to reevaluate security measures. It’s also important because if an attack is successful, knowing how many attacks you’ve survived will help you rebuild and learn from them in order to establish a better cyber defense system.

Number Of Devices Connected To The Network

The number of devices connected to the network is important to track because it tells you how many different entry points exist. If an attacker figures out one way into your network, they’ll be able to access several other systems and devices from there. However, if you only have a couple entry points, finding them in time will keep your network secure.

Total Amount Of Data Stored On The Network

The amount of data stored on your network is a large indicator of the complexity and vulnerability level of your system. However, it’s important to remember that this number can quickly inflate if you’re not keeping an eye on it. It’s also important because it tells you how much time, money and resources will be needed to recover from an attack. Being aware of the amount of data you’re storing is an important part of prioritizing your security efforts.

Percentage Of Unpatched Software Installed On Endpoints

Some of these metrics will require a little more work to get the data you need, but it’s nothing that can’t be accomplished with a little creative thinking and elbow grease. Let us know in the comments if you’ve been keeping track of any other security metrics for your institution.


If all 5 metrics are constantly on the rise, it’s time to reassess your cyber-security strategy and take a step back to identify possible vulnerabilities that could exist in your system. Identifying these potential vulnerabilities will help you better identify where to direct your cyber security efforts.

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