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Most campuses report security breaches

Most campuses report security breaches
Most campuses report security breaches 

By John Moore
Oct. 10, 2006

The majority of higher education managers experienced at least one 
information technology security incident last year and one-third 
reported a data loss or theft.

Those are among the findings of the second annual Higher Education IT 
Security Report Card, which CDW-Government released this week. The 
report is based on a survey of 182 higher education IT directors and 
managers nationwide.

Fifty-eight percent of those respondents reported at least one security 
incident last year. In addition to the 33 percent reporting data loss or 
theft, 9 percent of the IT managers encountered data loss or theft of 
student personal information.

Managers cited lack of funding and insufficient staff resources as the 
biggest barriers to improving campus security, said Julie Smith, 
director of higher education at CDW-G.

Another issue is academias tradition of openness.

Stan Gatewood, chief information security officer at the University of 
Georgia, said universities have technology, throughput and bandwidth on 
par with corporate America but also possess a culture of freely flowing 

That is what makes us a target-rich environment, Gatewood said.

University administrators earned a B, with 93 percent of the IT managers 
surveyed describing executive administrations as supportive to extremely 
supportive of IT security measures.

Faculty and students earned Cs, however. Twenty-eight percent of 
respondents described faculty as unsupportive of IT security measures. 
Thirty-one percent of students also received the unsupportive label. 
Respondents cited lack of awareness and a disregard of rules/policies as 
major obstacles.

Gatewood said security awareness training and education provide the best 
return on investment in security.

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