University Business - July 2006 - (Page 15)

U B E H I N D the NEWS Making a Game of IT Security A slew of higher ed competitions allow students and pros to hack networks. THE RECENT STUDENT COMPETITION AT ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF Technology N.Y. could be viewed as a high-tech version of an old childhood challenge. Students formed teams to build forts. But instead of working with tree branches and piles of leaves they worked with code, routers, and software to protect IT networks. RIT and IT security company McAfee partnered for the second year to provide stu- dents with hands-on experience in building and defending digital fortresses. During a 24-hour period this spring, students had to fend off network attacks simulated by McAfee engineers. The point of the competition? To prepare the next generation of computer crime-fighters. It is a necessary task, considering that identity theft is a $3.2 billion problem, according to the U.S. Justice Department. University rep Adam Wise ups the It is even more apropos, considering the unending and embarrassing IT security ante with an online auction bidder. breaches that continue to happen in higher educa- tion. The most high-profile at the moment is the Going Once, case of Ohio University, where Social Security Going Twice numbers and data belonging to 137,000 people were in the hands of overseas-based hackers for SOMETIMES OFFBEAT IDEAS CAN HAVE more than a year. At the crux of the problem was big payoffs. Boston University's Col- a server containing alumni information that was l e ge of Communication decided to supposed to be off-line. While staff thought they host its first ever Terrier Golf Classic had taken precautions, the information was ap- Defending the fortress: IT students at and auction in May. Development Of- parently online and vulnerable to intruders. The RIT fend off simulated network attacks. ficer Robyn Neeley says the univer- well-reported discovery prompted Bill Sams, the sity received such high-end, fantasy university's CIO, to reorganize his entire department in May. package donations for the silent auc- Then in mid-June, OU was hacked again. This time the data on 2,500 subcontractors t io n that organizers decided to put and the Social Security numbers of 4,900 others were stolen. In the latest incident, hackers the auction online. Alumni, parents, reportedly swiped information on 12 people who had paid for university events with credit and friends of the college donated 22 cards. It is this type of thing that the RIT competition is trying to prevent. items in total. Fourteen were used for The institution is joined by others in the effort to beef up IT security instruction. In the online auction four were exclu- March, the campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was host to the Col- sive to online, three moved to a silent legiate Cyber Defense Competition, another event that gauges how well students defend auction at the tournament, and seven servers and networks. The researchers at Indiana University's Advanced Network Manage- moved to a live auction. Online bidders ment lab have recently devised War Games, a series of IT exercises for higher ed profes- were able to nominate proxies for the sionals who want more real-world security experience. In a role reversal, those who are live auction. Tickets to the 2007 Vanity normally charged with protecting networks try to break through IT security in a virtual Fair Oscar party generated a bidding setting the idea being that good guys need to think a little bit more like the bad guys in war that ended with a $30,000 win- order to do their jobs better. Jean Marie Angelo ning offer. The entire auction brought in $55,768, with the full event raising $100,000 for the Dean's Fund. Nee- SOUND BITE ley says the event was a good way to `W e have thrived, despite the fact that when the Founding bring in new donors who weren't con- ` nected to the school. BU officials are Fathers said, `We, the people,' they didn't mean me. considering repeating the event next Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State, in her commencement speech at Boston College. year. Ann McClure July 2006 | 15 51 ddni.607etadpU MP 61:72:2 60/12/6

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - July 2006

College Index
Advisory Board
Company Index
Editor's Note
People Watch
Sense of Place
Stats Watcch
Human Resources
Future Shock
Money Matters
Community Colleges
Diamond in the Mudd
Higher Ed at the Crossroads
Property Values
The President Next Door
Good Medicine
The Outs (and Ins) of Facility Management
Business Technology
What's New
Calendar of Events
Direct Connect
End Note

University Business - July 2006