Canadian university responds to security breach

Canadian university responds to security breach

Companies such as financial firms and healthcare providers are not the only types of organizations with sensitive data to protect. In fact, nearly every organization has some type of information it cannot allow to leak. According to local news source the Telegram, Memorial University in Canada became one of the latest victims of data thieves.

Incident aftermath

The news provider reported that Memorial IT staff discovered unauthorized access to data on the school's servers and shut down the entire system to prevent any further data loss. Afterward, investigators determined that student information may have been viewed during the security lapse. Much of the university's confidential information was stored on servers that were not affected, but the source stated that the incident response process is still ongoing.

"The security of the personal information of our students, staff and clients is of the utmost priority and we are taking this incident very seriously," said Dean Wilfred Zerbe, according to the Telegram. "Our staff acted quickly to prevent confidential information from being further compromised and we are taking steps to prevent similar data breaches in the future."

Quick response to data loss incidents can be a critical part of an IT security strategy. While losing data is damaging to an organization no matter what occurs afterward, letting that incident go undiscovered for any length of time can make matters worse.

Leaving vulnerabilities

While incident response strategies are important, prevention is also critical for any firm holding personal data. According to the BBC, many large entities have lax security preparedness, which makes them more likely to lose data to hackers. This was recently evidenced when it was discovered that the large supermarket chain Tesco keeps username and password data in a plain text form. The lack of encryption means any viewer of the file could use the information easily.