As Many as 50,000 Affected by Arkansas State Data Breach

Illegal use of the information has not been reported, but 50,000 people will be notified ‘out of an abundance of caution.’

JONESBORO, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Human Services has informed Arkansas State University (ASU) about a data breach in the College of Education and Behavioral Science’s Department of Childhood Services (CHS) that could cause exposure of personally identifiable information.

The campus was notified of the breach late Wednesday. The breach involved a database related to the Traveling Arkansas Professional Pathways (TAPP) Registry, which is a professional development system designed to track and facilitate training and continuing education for early childhood practitioners in Arkansas. The program is a grant-funded project administered and housed on the Jonesboro campus. The registry tracks more than 6,000 workshops annually to train childcare workers, and participants register online through the registry.

“We have confirmed unauthorized access to data, but we have no reports regarding illegal use of the information in these files,” ASU Chief Information Officer Henry Torres said. “We took immediate measures to address this issue after being notified by DHS. We are cooperating with DHS and working with programmers to assess and resolve the situation.”

An estimated 50,000 potentially impacted individuals in the database will be notified of the breach “out of an abundance of caution,” Torres said. Only a non-active portion of the data within the database contained full Social Security numbers, and it did not contain all users of the database. Most of the database tables included only four or five digits of a Social Security number, but the Social Security Administration has determined that is personally identifiable information.

Since the registry program is not part of the main university databases, no student, faculty or staff records are involved unless they have participated in the TAPP Registry.

Computer servers containing the databases were immediately disabled, Torres said, and the university has a third-party security consultant who will assist in addressing the issues.

Individuals possibly affected by the breach can call 1-855-363-1011.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety HQ