Colleges Cope with Computer Data Security; Privacy Breakdowns Are an Issue beyond Three Jacksonville Schools

By Coleman, Matt | The Florida Times Union, November 21, 2010 | Go to article overview

Colleges Cope with Computer Data Security; Privacy Breakdowns Are an Issue beyond Three Jacksonville Schools


Coleman, Matt, The Florida Times Union


Byline: MATT COLEMAN

Privacy is a foreign concept to many college students.

Between Facebook status updates, Twitter posts and rampant social networking, reams of personal information are available through a quick web search.

But even the most chronic oversharer knows some data is meant to stay private.

Three Northeast Florida colleges, however, have had some issues keeping sensitive information secure.

The University of North Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Edward Waters College have all had security breaches in the past year exposing personal data belonging to students and faculty.

The most recent case was also the most serious.

An overseas hacker compromised UNF's computer system in September and accessed the personal information of nearly 107,000 students, potential students and employees of the Jacksonville school. The data included names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. An FBI investigation is ongoing, and it remains unclear if any of the personal information has been used illegally.

The UNF invasion is one of the largest security breaches at a public institution in years, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit based in San Diego.

But it's far from the only one. He said privacy breakdowns have become major problems for dozens of universities.

"We've seen more and more colleges falling victim to hackers and other computer security issues in the past couple years," Stephens said. "And it's not really surprising. The type of computer architecture that colleges have, the open-endedness of it all and the number of individuals who use their servers, contributes to a level of access that skilled hackers can use to their advantage."

Stephens said servers storing personal data and sensitive files are often common points of weakness for college security experts. Valdosta State University in Georgia was rocked by a breach similar to UNF's in February, when the school's IT department noticed a hacker had accessed a server storing the personal data of more than 170,000 people.

Jeff Durfee, director of UNF's network security, said the school is working feverishly to guarantee that a comparable breach never happens again. His staff has reviewed the college's security protocols and procedures, looking for the tiniest cracks in the defenses.

"In this field, it's an arms race," Durfee said. "The bad guys are constantly finding new vulnerabilities and ways in, and we're backtracking trying to stop them. It's constantly escalating, and we're only as good as the workforce and the equipment we have. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Colleges Cope with Computer Data Security; Privacy Breakdowns Are an Issue beyond Three Jacksonville Schools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.