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Can A Digital Security Breach Ruin Your Company?

In Criticism & Review on June 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

City College of San Francisco Computer Virus Transmitted Personal Data For Over A Decade (HuffPost)

A story like this can kill any organization, and higher education is no exception. In an age where digital reigns supreme and serves as the primary source of communication—to transmit information, especially—there’s little more important than security of said information; [Because] a university is similar to a finance firm in the sense that they compile massive amounts of sensitive information, with realistic consequences if in the wrong hands.

Can students, faculty and the public trust you after a decade of unbridled digital contagion?

(Sounds apocalyptic, but in a way: it is. A knowledgeable hacker or network can compromise data and cause significant damage in one day. Ten years? Whew.)

This puts the entire organization in question, specifically with concern to:

  • Knowledge and Awareness
  • Innovation
  • Quality
  • Safety

I’m sure you can come up with a few examples where these qualities are important when selecting a University or higher education institution. Who is to say this reputation stops at digital?

The City College of San Francisco suspects virus and criminal activity present in their system for over a decade. And they cannot determine whether or not personal information has been compromised. It’s a fairly safe assumption that there has been a data leak. This begs the wrong question. Why or how is this data significant to the hackers? And only the insiders can speculate what the potential is for the compromise of private information.

How would you feel if your college or university has a data leak for more than ten years? What would you think of this institution? I’m unsure I could let this pass.

Background Info: I recently read Adopt the cloud, kill your IT career at InfoWorld. In this article, Paul Venezia links to City College of San Francisco Computer Virus Transmitted Personal Data For Over A Decade, which is where the story begins (above).