Ferris State’s online security breach: Experts say cyber attacks on higher education growing

With data on thousands of students, including names, addresses and Social Security numbers – a virtual treasure trove of personal information– it’s no surprise that colleges and universities face the same cyber security threats businesses and government agencies contend with daily, experts say, MLive reports. That threat was clear Thursday when Ferris State University announced that names and Social Security numbers for 39,000 people – a group comprised of current, former and prospective students, as well as current and former employees – were accessible for a short time on July 23 when a “unauthorized person evaded network security” and accessed a server used to operate the school’s website. “Most data would support the fact that attempts or intrusions into college and university networks, much like corporations or governments, is on the increase,” said Rodney Petersen, a managing director of the Washington D.C. office of EDUCAUSE, an association of Information Technology leaders in higher education.

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