Collegis Education is proud to be among dozens of presenters at UBTech 2016 in Las Vegas, one of the top conferences in the world to explore opportunities for innovative growth in IT, AV and student and institutional success. This year, conference organizers selected Collegis to present on data security in higher education and social media governance.

Below you will find a short description of each presentation as well as some Q&A with the presenters. Learn some key takeaways from these sessions as well as why the presenters are looking forward to helping keep your institution safe.

Protect This School: Strategies to Avoid the Dreaded Data Breach

When: Tue., June 7 at 8 a.m.

Presenter: Todd Pombert, vice president of infrastructure and operations

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About the presentation:

With targets ranging from retailers to health insurance providers, large-scale and costly data hacks are in the news practically every week. Colleges and universities are hardly immune from these attacks. In the past decade more than 700 data breaches have occurred in higher ed—costing institutions on average $300 per stolen record. As these attacks continually change shape and form, institutions must reinvent their approach to data protection. In this session, attendees will learn strategies to keep their campus safe from a range of emerging threats from ransomware to mobile and network breaches.

Q&A:

What are some of the biggest security threats colleges and universities face today?

Todd Pombert: The two most recent security threats facing higher education institutions as well as other industries, are the rapid growth of ransomware and the proliferation of email phishing attacks. In the just first three months of 2016, ransomware has cost companies over $209 million (per the FBI) and is projected to grow more than one billion dollars in ransoms paid in 2016 (up from $1.6 million in 2015). Email spear phishing attacks are targeted emails that often seek personal or financial information that can lead to identify theft, financial fraud, blackmail or other malicious activity.

What is one small change institutions can make right away to better secure their data?

Employees are the best defense from these attacks; the strongest means of prevention is through becoming knowledgeable of how these attacks work and how they can prevent themselves from being victims.

Pombert: One of the most effective means to prevent both ransomware and attacks resulting from email spear phishing is through employee awareness. Employees are the best defense from these attacks; the strongest means of prevention is through becoming knowledgeable of how these attacks work and how they can prevent themselves from being victims. This can often be accomplished through employee announcements or educational company newsletters – make sure that the means you take to educate your employees won’t be mistakenly construed as an email phishing attack since hackers sometimes disguise their email attacks as if they are coming from IT security teams!

What is one thing you hope attendees walk away with from your presentation?

Pombert: I hope attendees walk away understanding that a strong security program comes from a holistic approach that considers People, Process and Technology. New malicious attacks are launched daily and security technology doesn’t typically evolve ahead of the attacks, so you’ll need to leverage strong process controls to keep your information safe and a security-conscious culture so your employees can respond appropriately when something doesn’t seem right.

Building Social Media Governance Models That Engage Students & Protect Your University

When: Wed., June 8 at 9:50 a.m.

Presenter: Dana DeLapi, senior marketing manager

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About the presentation:

Social media is a constant means of connection and self-expression for college students. But, what happens when that self-expression is pointed at your institution? Higher education has boundless opportunities to utilize social media for positive engagement and retention. Social media governance models are imperative to institutions of all sizes when engaging with students.

In this session, we will share how your college or university can build a social media governance model from the ground up – from strategy to tactical implementation including building loyalty on Facebook, inciting positive student testimonials, and the how/where/when/why to respond to negative comments on social media and forums. Learn from our social media experts who will give you the inside edge with quick tips, tools and tactics to protect your institution and make it a social media star.

Q&A:

What are some common mistakes colleges and universities make on social media?

Dana DeLapi: One of the biggest things I see with colleges is that they don’t have a proactive strategy and approach to social media. This is an excellent way to meet your students where they are – and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do that. The beauty of social media is it embraces user-generated content, and colleges and universities need to do that too. Rather than be afraid of the content your students may post, embrace it, use it and celebrate it. If you are proactively engaging and providing value to your students and prospective students, you will build greater authority and trust.

What is your favorite social media engagement tool and why?

DeLapi: My favorite tool currently is Hootsuite. It makes management of multiple social media platforms and pages easier. You can have multiple team members, with permissions and boundaries in place to ensure you have engagement and collaboration internally. There is also the ability to schedule posts, so you have consistent updates on social media. Plus, it has reporting tools so you can measure your effectiveness. While you can’t manage all social media platforms (such as Pinterest and Instagram), Hootsuite is definitely a time-saver for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

What is one small change institutions can make to improve their online presence and quickly?

… spend a little time each week on the front end to plan and schedule posts, you will see your engagement numbers rise. Couple consistency with visuals, and it’s a winning combination.

DeLapi: Obviously social media moves really fast and there are always new platforms to consider and join. It’s not always easy – or appropriate – to join every hot new platform. However, with the rise of “quick visual” focused apps like Snapchat and Instagram, you can take the trends and apply them to your bread and butter platforms. Consider adding more video and pictures to your posts to grab attention. And make sure you are posting consistently. If you spend a little time each week on the front end to plan and schedule posts, you will see your engagement numbers rise. Couple consistency with visuals, and it’s a winning combination.

Attending UBTech 2016? Make sure to stop by Booth #411 and chat with us about data-driven enrollment management that employs student-focused marketing, admissions and technology. We look forward to meeting you.