University of Maryland faces more cybersecurity woes

Four weeks after massive data breach, University of Maryland victim of ‘cyber-intrusion’

cyber-security-marylandThe University of Maryland alerted administrators last week that someone hacked into its computer network and accessed the personal data of a senior university official.

The “cyber-intrusion,” as Ann G. Wylie, the university’s interim vice president, called it, came just four weeks after another data breach compromised 287,580 records. The two incidents are unrelated, Wylie said, and only the senior official’s data was accessed in the most recent incident.

“Within 36 hours, the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and the University’s Police Department, working with University’s IT security staff, successfully mitigated the intrusion,” she said. “We thank these organizations for their expeditious and effective actions.”

In a letter to the university’s vice presidents, deans, and department chairs, Wylie outlined the mission of the new President’s Task Force on Cybersecurity. The task force, she said, is currently:

  • Evaluating cybersecurity consulting firms that can assist in strengthening our intrusion prevention and conducting penetration testing.
  • Identifying sensitive information in university databases to determine whether they are needed and how to better isolate them. All sensitive records in the breached database that are no longer required have been removed.
  • Examining national cybersecurity policies, procedures and best practices to establish an appropriate balance between centralized security and broad access on University networks.

The 18-member taskforce was created in the wake of February’s larger data breach, and first met on March 12

(Next page: UMD is not the only university suffering from data breaches and leaks)

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