UC Berkley had its share of security breaches in 2009. In August, hackers gained access to private student records from the Graduate School of Journalism and in May they gained access to around 160,000 students’ personal information from University Health Services, according to The Daily Californian.
Electronic information including students’ social security numbers, driver’s license numbers and medical information are now being protected with high confidentiality protection measures, such as mandatory intrusion prevention and detection software, file encryption and strengthened firewalls.
The Minimum Security Standards for Electronic Information went into effect at the beginning of the year and will be subject to annual reviews, in order to modify the systems to adapt to changing hacker techniques.
Zulfikar Ramzan, technical director for Symantec Corporation which makes Norton AntiVirus, said the campus’s new standards were generally good and covered all the basic holes that hackers could use to infiltrate the campus network.
The challenge of implementing security standards like the new campus security policy was threefold: involving the right technology, the right policies and the right level of awareness of potential security risks that could be “low-hanging fruit” for hackers, Ramzan said.
He added that UC Berkeley was particularly vulnerable to attacks because the campus is an open environment that does not prohibit access to its grounds.
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