University Data Breaches on the Rise

About five minutes after writing my post about the Salem State University data breach that hit 25k people, I ran across this story.  2012 saw a dramatic increase in records breached at colleges and universities but less institutions breached.  Less incidents but larger breaches.

TeamSHATTER reports on data breaches in the higher education vertical throughout the United States.

The past year has seen a substantial uptick in the amount of total records breached. In 2012, there was a dramatic increase in the total number of reported records affected (1,977,412), but a relatively low amount of institutions (51) that reported breaches. In fact, the past year has seen the most reported compromised records in the higher education sector since 2006, based on data since tracking began in 2005.

The unwanted distinction of suffering the largest reported data breach in 2012 by a U.S.-based institution of higher learning came from the University of Nebraska, which reported a breach of 654,000 records on May 25, 2012. Rounding out the 2012 Higher Education Data Breach Madness “Final Four” were the University of North Carolina (350,000), Arizona State University (300,000) and Northwest Florida State College (279,000).

Like a broken record, universities are exposed to many more data breach risk factors than other organization but the issue continues to be under reported.  Data breach response for a university is also an issue as students tend to be nomadic bunch and data is stored on former students dating decades back.  This issues are not going away and as this report suggest the issue is growing.

You can read the whole story on the rise of the university data breach in 2012 here: Data breaches in higher education

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