Don’t Let Them In: Barring the Data Door from Cyber Attacks is More Important than Ever

TalkingEDUSmall.jpgCyber attacks are more common than ever, and more common than you might think in higher education. In an article posted in the recent edition of Business Officer by NACUBO, the University of Maryland, College Park shared that in 2015 it routinely blocked nearly 500,000 cyber attacks a day, and now, it blocks more than 11 million per day! Eric Denna, vice president and chief information officer at the University notes “And those attackers only have to be right once to get in- we have to be right every single time to keep them out.”

After a breach in 2014 that resulted in the theft of birthdates and social security numbers for over 300,000 students (current and former), the University notes some strategies to both mitigate risks and minimize the impacts of attacks, which include:


  • Continually assessing risks
  • Review of incident response plans
  • Strengthening of internal practices
  • Conducting awareness training
  • Beefing up the budget
  • Share concerns and strategies

Breaches leave so much at stake- beyond even the personal information of students, faculty, parents and employees. It can tap into confidential institutional information, make significant impact on operations and could result in the loss of intellectual property and consequently, potential income. Medical records are at risk, and once obtained, can be used to commit fraud. The impacts of these losses (not to mention the associated fines), can be astronomical.

Read the full NACUBO Business Insider article, Bar the Data Door to learn more about:

  • The above mentioned tactics to mitigate risk,
  • How to implement them,
  • Best practices regarding dealing with cyber attacks,
  • How the University of Maryland responded to the 2014 breach, and
  • Discover what the chief information officer at Seton Hill says about the attractiveness of higher education institution to cyber attackers (it's one of the top two sectors targeted)

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