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BYOD security challenges are old mortarboard for universities

John P. Mello Jr. | Sept. 2, 2013
Businesses coping with security issues stemming from employee use of personal devices for company work are only experiencing what universities have grappled with for years.

However, Reed noted, "If you've got 10 horses in the barn and one or two get out before you lock the gate, then it's better to keep eight by looking backwards than none by not looking back at all."

While universities may be veterans in dealing with the security demands of BYOD, a more recent challenge to their defenses has been an increase in attacks from overseas. "That's absolutely been the case over the last 18 months," Dave Jevans, chairman and CTO of Marble Security, said in an interview.

"A lot of it is coming from overseas actors who are interested in gaining access to projects that universities are working on," he observed. "There's also some speculation that some of it is to track students from foreign countries."

That activity has prodded some schools to reassess their defensive efforts. "We've been taking a closer look at our intellectual property portfolio in relation to our risk posture," UI's Corn said. "We're trying to be much more threat-agent focused. Rather that focusing on 'Are we patching appropriately?' we're looking at who is going to attack us and what are the ways they'll do that.

"My fear is that we have not paid enough attention to the professional state actors," he said. "And I'm sure we are being targeted by some of those."


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