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A Systematic Review of Cybersecurity Risks in Higher Education

Deptment of Information Security and Communication Technology, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, NTNU—Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Teknologivegen 22, 2815 Gjøvik, Norway
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Georgios Kambourakis
Future Internet 2021, 13(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi13020039
Received: 27 November 2020 / Revised: 26 January 2021 / Accepted: 28 January 2021 / Published: 2 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Future Internet—Cybersecurity Section)
The demands for information security in higher education will continue to increase. Serious data breaches have occurred already and are likely to happen again without proper risk management. This paper applies the Comprehensive Literature Review (CLR) Model to synthesize research within cybersecurity risk by reviewing existing literature of known assets, threat events, threat actors, and vulnerabilities in higher education. The review included published studies from the last twelve years and aims to expand our understanding of cybersecurity’s critical risk areas. The primary finding was that empirical research on cybersecurity risks in higher education is scarce, and there are large gaps in the literature. Despite this issue, our analysis found a high level of agreement regarding cybersecurity issues among the reviewed sources. This paper synthesizes an overview of mission-critical assets, everyday threat events, proposes a generic threat model, and summarizes common cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This report concludes nine strategic cyber risks with descriptions of frequencies from the compiled dataset and consequence descriptions. The results will serve as input for security practitioners in higher education, and the research contains multiple paths for future work. It will serve as a starting point for security researchers in the sector. View Full-Text
Keywords: cybersecurity; higher education; university; review; risk; asset; threat; vulnerability cybersecurity; higher education; university; review; risk; asset; threat; vulnerability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ulven, J.B.; Wangen, G. A Systematic Review of Cybersecurity Risks in Higher Education. Future Internet 2021, 13, 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/fi13020039

AMA Style

Ulven JB, Wangen G. A Systematic Review of Cybersecurity Risks in Higher Education. Future Internet. 2021; 13(2):39. https://doi.org/10.3390/fi13020039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ulven, Joachim B.; Wangen, Gaute. 2021. "A Systematic Review of Cybersecurity Risks in Higher Education" Future Internet 13, no. 2: 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/fi13020039

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