27 Feb 2014

University of Maryland Takes Measures against Data Breach

The University of Maryland (UMD) is extending credit card protection to 5 years for all 309,000 victims of a recent cyber-attack involving university staff, students and faculty members, according to a message on their website.

Amid current investigations, the university decided to extend to five years from one year the credit protection services offered as free compensation. Affected customers who already signed up for the service will be automatically upgraded. The coverage is retroactive to the date of the breach.

Federal law enforcement, the Secret Service, MITRE Corporation consultants and the university’s IT security team are investigating the breach, said President Wallace D. Loh.

The university has also created a special Task Force on Cybersecurity that will be supported by a cybersecurity company to expose potential vulnerabilities in the university’s security systems.

All campus databases will be scanned on an ongoing basis and security holes will be patched. The entire IT system will also be analyzed and new policies will be put in place, if necessary.

“Our University's entire cybersecurity system is only as strong as its weakest link,” Loh said.

To support prevention, the UMD will also organize courses on identity theft and safeguarding sensitive data.