Striking a balance between an open yet secure network remains a challenge for university IT departments. While universities are often on the cutting edge of innovation, they face complications when it comes to enforcing IT policies. In some cases, this has led to staggering data breaches. For example, last year, the University of California at Berkeley faced a difficult situation when overseas hackers gained access to data on tens of thousands of people who have received healthcare from the university. The victims' medical information and Social Security numbers were exposed in the breach that lasted from October 2008 to April 2009. The University of Florida faced a similar breach last year. While security protocols, like requiring two-factor authentication for network access, could prevent breaches, enforcement and implementation challenges abound. While it is unrealistic and unwarranted for universities to be held to the same standard as the enterprise, there are best practices schools can incorporate to strengthen their security.

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