While most don’t think of schools, colleges, and universities as key cybercrime target when compared to a bank, a growing body of evidence is suggesting otherwise. Just like banks educational institutions, especially colleges and universities, hold a treasure trove of data, including Social Security numbers that criminals want to sell or exploit. Securing that data is a priority but continues to present challenges for educational institutions. In this education news roundup, we learn about how a company inadvertently left more than a million students’ information online for more than a month. We also learn from cyber experts why colleges will continue to be targeted and how they should be combining their efforts to protect their campuses physically and digitally. Read about it here…
Personal Information of 1 Million Potential College Applicants ‘Exposed Inadvertently’
Sensitive personal information belonging to more than 1 million individuals seeking information about higher education institutions was left publicly available on the internet for more than a month, according to an EdScoop article. The data, dating back to 2005, included names, phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, high school graduation years and, in a few cases, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. The exposure happened through a common tool called rsync that is used to remotely back up data, allowing users to copy it from one machine to another, and, in this case Target Direct Marketing (TDM), which held the data, did not configure rsync’s “hosts allow/deny” functions properly. TDM, a lead-generation company, said it has plans to notify anyone affected by the incident. Read the story here.
Universities Ignore Cyber Threat at Their Peril
Universities will never be 100-percent secure, because no one is completely safe when it comes to cybersecurity. Emerging online threats and tough new penalties for data breaches are forcing universities to take cybersecurity more seriously than ever. Universities are bombarded on a daily basis with information about cybercrime and security, almost to the point where it feels that little else needs to be done other than trust in the IT department’s skills and get on with life. But does this mean students and academic staff are safe? Is their research and partner companies’ data really secure? Will an institution’s computers, libraries and facilities function without hiccup thanks to the new wave of encryption, site blocks and alerts that have arrived in recent months? In a word, no, continue reading here to find out why.
The Opportunity to Create Safer Schools and Campuses with Physical and Cybersecurity Solutions
Educators across the country work to ensure students have access to safe and productive environments where they can advance their education and prepare for their careers. In 2018, achieving this goal is becoming increasingly difficult. Maintaining effective security means schools and universities need a combination of physical and cybersecurity solutions that work together to keep students and faculty safe without causing educational environments to become less conducive to student success. Although it may seem like the education sector is primarily a target for physical attacks, it has also become a prime target for cyberattacks. In the first half of 2017, the education sector alone accounted for 13 percent of data breaches, resulting in the compromise of around 32 million records. Read the story here.