IoT on campus: where it is and how to secure it

If you’re paying attention to the development and proliferation of “smart devices,” it can seem like they’re everywhere: internet-connected thermostats, cars, vending machines, surveillance cameras, televisions, fitness devices, and even light bulbs. But the omnipresence of tiny, embedded computers in everyday devices also has a way of making them invisible to most people. What is a network administrator to do with this invasion of connected, and thus hackable, devices?

Which “smart” devices are in schools?
While the variety of connected devices on campus may seem overwhelming, the ones you might have to worry about are only a subset of the problematic devices that are out there. Internet-connected cars are more likely to be on a cellular network than a school’s wireless network, and network admins probably have some authority to opine about whether connected thermostats or household appliances are allowed to connect. Hopefully, if “smart” vending machines or surveillance cameras are implemented, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in on which specific devices are allowed to join the network.

The more prolific (and uncontrolled) types of “smart devices” on campus are likely to be those brought by students, and it’s possible they may not even think of these devices as internet-connected until someone or something stops them from being connected. So how are you supposed to protect your network against the tide of unsecured internet of Things (IoTs)?…Read More

How to maintain the balance between security and privacy

We’re in a unique moment in history, where the negative consequences of organizations tracking our digital traffic are painfully clear. It’s certainly understandable that “security measures” can seem to many people more like intrusive surveillance than personal protection. But a lack of defenses will also have negative consequences for our safety and feeling of trust.

What can security professionals in higher ed do to maintain the balance between safety and privacy? Is it possible to maintain trust in the institution and yet enable users to explore safely?

The importance of context…Read More

10 Apple and Android Apps for campus security

These 10 campus safety apps cover a broad range that could be tailored for most institutions

Copyright: Twin Design/Shutterstock

Integrating campus security and technology, smartphone apps make campus safety more convenient. From GPS locators to social media monitoring, these cost-effective opportunities can improve existing systems for higher education faculty, staff and students.

[Listed in alphabetical order]

1. Campus Safe iPhone/iPad, Android, As low as $1 per user, per year…Read More

Amazing new security app hits the market

Blackboard’s new campus security app is a one-stop game-changer

security-app-blackboardIn a world where school shootings have become a common – appearing in headlines almost every other week – university officials are increasingly dependent on students, in addition to security cameras and police, to report suspicious activity and crime on campus.

Blackboard Transact, the campus security division of the popular education technology company, Blackboard, known for its content management software, announced on April 15 a new partnership with LiveSafe, which produces a mobile safety application for Android and iOS.

According to Jenny Abramson, CEO and president of LiveSafe, the application has had success by providing students with a platform to communicate about campus safety issues without disrupting their day-to-day lives.…Read More

What universities need to know about the Heartbleed bug

Heartbleed security flaw, university data breaches have administrators on edge

heartbleed-campus-securityThe Heartbleed bug, a serious security flaw found earlier this month in the encryption software used by most secure websites, has many organizations scrambling to fix the issue — including universities.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced that it was scanning all of the university’s networks for any Heartbleed vulnerabilities. Vanderbilt University announced it was doing the same, as did Stony Brook University, and the University of Texas, among others.

Speaking with a student newspaper last week, Cam Beasley, chief information security officer at the University of Texas, sought to calm student nerves.…Read More