Fliers test data safety

By Jade Mardirosian
Staff Writer

Fliers circulated around the Bill Daniel Student Center, Clifton Robinson Tower and other locations on campus Wednesday afternoon, soliciting students, faculty and staff to visit a website in order to win an iPad2. The fliers, along with CDs also dispersed through these areas, were part of a test administered by an external security company, according to a university spokeswoman.

“The university hired an external security firm to look at and test some aspects of the university’s vulnerability in the area of technology,” Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, said. “That included fliers and also computer disks that were left around campus.”

Fogleman said this particular test is ongoing. Tests such as this one are administered every 18 months.

The website included on the flier asked people to provide a name, phone number, and either their Bear ID number or BearWeb user ID and PIN.

The CDs appeared to include sensitive information; one that was found on the first floor of Robinson Tower read “salary data information.” Fogleman said people who provided their personal information on the website or inserted the disks into their computers were not at risk of their security being compromised.

Fogleman said tests such as this one are administered to assess some aspects of the university’s vulnerability, both on the user side, such as surrendering ID numbers and passwords, and of the university network.

“Many universities have dealt with serious breaches of security, so this testing is done here to help ensure a secure environment,” Fogleman said. “Reaction to the testing [has] been mostly positive in that people are questioning the attempts at getting data and alerting officials about disks that might include sensitive information.”

Fogleman said this was a “quiet test, but Baylor police were informed this would be happening.”

Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak declined to comment about the fliers or CDs and directed questions to Jon Allen in the Information Technology Services Security department.

Allen also declined to comment about the fliers and CDs and said it was a “non-event from our perspective” and he could not provide any further details.

The fliers have since been removed from campus and the test has been completed.

Fogleman said the timing of the test coincides with October’s National CyberSecurity Awareness Month, which will be a time the campus will focus on the latest security risks and help educate those on campus about the best practices in computer and personal security.

“I think this testing as well as Bear Aware provides additional reminders to never surrender your User ID and password and to never insert an unidentified device, such as a flash drive or disk, into your computer,” Fogleman said. “Those are good reminders for the campus community.”

Fogleman said Baylor is fortunate in the area of technology security.

“Our ITS team and the security team put the kind of work and effort into making sure Baylor’s networks are as secure as possible and the community is informed and aware of the best practices when it comes to computer and personal security,” Fogleman said.

Baylor students and faculty interested in learning more about Internet safety and how they can protect their computers from harmful viruses are encouraged to visit the Baylor ITS website.