NEWS

Campus Data Breaches on the Rise

By Laura Spadanuta, Assistant Editor

A new report finds that the number of computer security incidents at colleges increased in 2007, along with the number of institutions affected.

The "Year in Review" report was conducted by Educational Security Incidents, an online clearinghouse that maintains data on higher education security incidents.  The total number of incident reports rose 67.5 percent and the number of institutions affected rose 72.3 percent since 2006.

The survey found that spyware and virus problems plummeted over the last two years, but social networking site (such as Facebook) incidents spread to 13.2 percent of polled campuses. Inside Higher Ed reports that campus IT officials called network security the most important IT issue affecting their institutions.

According to Inside Higher Ed, the "most common incidents last year tended to involve 'the release of information to unknown and/or unauthorized individuals,' shifting the focus from hacker-style attacks to breaches involving information technology employees themselves — whether acting knowingly or not."

Employees were responsible for 47 percent of incidents, which outnumbered hacker-style breaches by 2 to 1, according to the article.

This year's study also includes a category for employee fraud with one incident.

 

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