Security is everyone's business

Security is everyone’s business.

In this era of online information, every one of us who has a responsibility to work student, employee, alumni and donor information has an ethical standard to meet. We must protect that data from those who might want to steal it. We need to establish good software security to ensure that only those who have a legitimate need to see that information can. We need to train people on the latest schemes of digital pick-pocketing.

Here’s the rub. Those of us in the technology field can establish pretty strong security around data and information. The weak link tends to be with individuals. Cases in point.

A student registers for class on a public cluster computer. They forget to log out. Their academic and personal record is there for the next person to see.

A faculty member posts grades to the wall with SSNs matched with grades. The paper is stolen.

A staff person in a student service office travels to a conference. Their laptop computer is stolen. It turns out that laptop has hundreds of reports in Excel pertaining to student financial aid and family incomes.

I don’t need to go on, there are headlines every week about new types of security and information breaches.

But now that you know, it is incumbent upon you to heed the warning. Be smart, do not travel or store private data on anything mobile. You have our peoples’ trust in your hands.