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