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Iowa State Data Breach Has SDSU Examining Security

April 23, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Iowa State Data Breach Has SDSU Examining Security
BROOKINGS, SD -

It is a constant battle, one that students at SDSU may not even know is taking place.

"We're concerned every day, and if you're going to ask me what keeps me up at night, it's certainly this particular issue," SDSU Vice-President of Technology and Security Mike Adelaine said.

That issue is data security, especially the personal information of every student. Protection of personal information is highlighted by a major data breach at Iowa State University this week. Five different departments are reporting that student IDs and social security numbers of nearly 30,000 students were put at risk because of a hacker.

"The attempts are quite common. The reason that it's so important for hackers is because Universities are information rich," Adelaine said.

Iowa State University officials say they don't believe any information was taken, but according to Adelaine, it shows one advantage that SDSU has over other schools. All the student data is stored in one spot on one server.

"We don't have individual servers with individual student information at all our college levels, that's held collectively. So, when you can manage information in that way, that goes a long way knowing there's only one point of penetration," Adelaine said.

This allows Adalaine and his team to focus their efforts and fend off any outside attacks.

Data breaches like the one at Iowa State puts universities like SDSU on notice, making sure that their security protocols are up to date.

"There's been other situations where something happened at NDSU and they just move down the highway, and so absolutely, we're sharing, we're talking, we're looking at what we're doing to make sure we're protecting ourselves appropriately," Adelaine said.

He adds that while having one server makes their job easier, their task of protecting the student data is never ending. The moment they get comfortable, another threat may rise up.

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