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Chief Information Security Officer - Term Paper Example

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Chief Information Security Officer (Name) (Course) (Section) (Date Due) (Tutor) Abstract Close to 160 data breaches has been experienced by higher education institutions since the year 2008 without over close to 2.5 million records reported compromised exclusive of the unreported statistics…
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Chief Information Security Officer
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Download file to see previous pages The repercussions of these breaches are felt by multiple parties including the administrative staff, the university itself, the IT department and the student body. It is therefore, imperative for higher education institutions to familiarize themselves with the constantly changing threats besides the high cost associated with leaving data and systems unprotected. Introduction Computer system hacks and data breaches with higher education institutions as the main target are constantly dominating the headlines. The higher education institutions are increasingly at high risk having their information and data compromised by malicious activities and hackers beside insider mistakes. The considerable number of system hacks and data breaches experienced by higher educational institutions can be attributed to such factors as resource plague issues experienced by IT department within the institutions, budgetary constraints and desperate database systems among other factors (Gahm, 2010). Higher educational institutions posses a considerable amount of data and distinct data type which make them a potential target by malicious attackers and hackers. A wealth of personally identifiable information is mostly stored by these institutions thus the high risk of data breaches and system hacks. A health record of students, employees and parents together with their names, social security numbers and credit card numbers are among the sensitive information that subject these institutions to potential threats and makes them a valuable target to the hackers. (Gahm, 2010) According to Gahm, Higher educational institutions should learn to take actions besides implementing proactive security to their database infrastructure in order to protect the critical information contained in their database systems. These database systems house a variety of information that can be exploited for financial gain. Given that the institution’s databases are the most critical repository of confidential and sensitive information at these institutions, safeguarding the database is of the essence (2010). Recent hack attacks against higher educational institutions Some of the top and best universities around the world had recently been reported to have fallen victim of computer system hack and data breaches. Team GhostShell, a hacking group claimed to have hacked into the servers of close to a hundred universities across the globe including Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford and University of Michigan. Close to 120,000 records were accessed from the breached universities’ servers and publicly posted. Critical and confidential information such as the names, phone numbers, log in details and email addresses were among the records exposed in the event of the breaches. The reports further showed that the hackers used malware injection into the servers in order to compromise their security and gain access to the records. The log-in credentials exposed were further used to improperly access some of the universities’ websites including Stanford University. Another data breach incident involving Western Connecticut State University was reported and blamed on the vulnerabilities existing on their computer systems. The breach utilized the existing vulnerabilities in the system and inappropriately accessed and exposed confidential inf ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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