May 01 2008

Campus IT Security Breaches Continue to Climb




The number of university and college computer-security breaches continues to climb, according to the latest Educational Security Incidents report issued by researcher and university-security issues blogger Adam Dodge. The report, released in late winter, compiles press reports of security incidents at colleges and universities worldwide in 2007. Incidents include unauthorized access to university computers, impersonation, theft of computers and other malicious acts.

Total 2007 incidents: 138, a 67 percent increase from 2006.

Total institutions affected: 112, a 72 percent increase from 2006.

Incidents by type:

  • Employer fraud: 1
  • Impersonation: 3
  • Loss: 12
  • Penetration: 30
  • Theft: 39
  • Unauthorized disclosure: 53

Mobile Broadband Rises

The number of computers using mobile broadband technology for Internet access grew 154 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared with the same period in 2006.

The total number of home, work and university computers going online in the fourth quarter of 2007 was 2.1 million, up from 854,000 during the same period in 2006.

The increase was almost evenly split between mobile devices used at work (59 percent) and devices used at home or for personal use, including devices used at universities (41 percent).

Campus Police Go Wireless

Twenty-seven percent of campus law enforcement agencies used field computers during the 2004–2005 school year, according to a recent report from the U.S. Justice Department.

  • 45% of law enforcement agencies serving universities with more than 15,000 students had in-field computers.
  • 61% of those systems had access to motor-vehicle records.
  • 54% had access to driving records.
  • 37% had access to criminal records.
  • 13% had linked files for crime analysis.

Source: U.S. Justice Department, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, February 2008

E-mail Isn’t Dead

Although text messaging is popular among college-age adults, 62 percent of Internet users in this age group send or receive e-mail on a typical day, according to a study on mobile access to data and information.

Seventy-three percent of the 18-to-29 age group used wireless handheld devices to access nonvoice data applications with their cell phone or PDA, compared with an average of 42 percent of all ages who used cell phones or PDAs to access a nonvoice data application.