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Universities putting sensitive data at risk via unsecure email

John P. Mello | July 31, 2013
Survey finds half of institutions allow naked transmission of the personal and financial data of students and parents.

Not everyone was worried, however, by Halock's findings. "I'm not very alarmed by what they found," Marc Gaffan,

founder of Incapsula, a cloud security company, said in an interview. "Email encryption is overkill."

He argued that there are practical concerns when considering widespread use of encryption.

"The usability aspects around email encryption are not trivial," Gaffan said.

Encrypting email is only a small part of the problem, he continued. "The real problem is what happens to that email when it hits the university."

"It's like keeping a key in the lock," Gaffan said. "The fact that the door has a lock on it doesn't protect it if the key is in the lock and anyone can unlock it."


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