Penn. State Takes Steps to Improve Cybersecurity

Published: September 18, 2015

Penn State University announced the establishment of the Office of Information Security September 11 to further protect against a cyberattack.

The announcement comes as the university attempts to improve the security of its network, which is subject to “millions of overtly hostile cyberattacks from around the world” every day, according to the school’s press release.

The new office will be separate from the existing Information Technology Services department, or ITS, and Andrew Sears of the College of Information Sciences and Technology will be its interim chief information security officer.

The school says the decision came after consulting with dozens of experts both within and outside of the school system and after studying security best practices from other institutions of higher education, the government and the private sector.

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Campus Safety had previously reported on a cyberattack at the university that dated back to 2012. In that attack, machines were hacked that held the social security numbers of roughly 18,000 people, although officials do not believe any of the data was stolen.

“This is the reality of the world we live in today,” says Nicholas P. Jones, executive vice president and provost at Penn State. “We believe the establishment of this office will better serve Penn State’s security needs in the years ahead.”

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