Harvard Data Breach Leaks Information From 8 Colleges and Administrations

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Last month, Harvard University revealed that a data breach had occurred to two of its internal IT systems, impacting eight of its various colleges and administrative departments in the process.

According to a July 2 Fortune article, the Ivy League university first discovered its network security systems had been breached on June 19. The colleges and administrations hit by the breach include the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Divinity School, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Central Administration, the Graduate School of Design, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Despite this, the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as the university’s business, law, medicine and dental schools, so far appear to be untouched by the network security systems’ breach.

Harvard officials stated that the breach hasn’t revealed any research data or personal information, TechCrunchreported. However, the university advises anyone associated with the affected groups to change their password to the Harvard network login. In the near future, Harvard will require an additional password change for added security. When 80% of all data breaches come as a result of weak passwords, this is hardly surprising.

“Password changes will be required again at a later time as the University takes further steps to enhance security,” Provost Alan Garber and executive vice president Katie Lapp said in a letter to the university community.

Harvard University is far from being the only large organization to experience compromised network security systems over recent years. Throughout the last six years alone, the U.S. government saw a staggering 680% increase in the number of cyber attacks it experienced. Additionally, between 75% and 80% of all malicious cyber attacks originate from within an organization.

Even so, it will be vital for Harvard’s IT department to seek out heightened managed IT support services, onsite computer services or the help of qualified network security specialists to prevent a similar data breach from taking place.

What are your thoughts on the Harvard data breach? Have any other questions for us about the importance of network security management? Let us know by leaving a comment below.