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Penn State Launches New Office For Information Security

As of last Friday, Penn State launched an Office of Information Security to “fortify Penn State’s network infrastructure, data, and people from potential cyberattack,” according to a release by Penn State.

The new office comes after a summer of cyber attacks against the university. In May, the College of Engineering’s network was disabled after two sophisticated attacks were discovered on the college. While heightening cyber security measures in light of the attacks on the College of Engineering, third-party cyber-security firm Mandiant also discovered a cyberattack on the College of the Liberal Arts.

The current dean of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, Andrew Sears, was hired as interim chief information security officer while a national search begins for a permanent hire.

“This is an important step for Penn State. Increasingly, organizations are recognizing the importance of having an office that focuses on information security which is independent of the group responsible for running the computing infrastructure,” explained Sears. “By establishing an independent office, Penn State is better positioned to respond to the increasingly complex challenge of protecting information that has been entrusted to the university. This also highlights the importance of these issues while emphasizing that this is not just an IT problem.”

Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones explained that the office will be separate from the ITS department and will take over ITS’s Security Operations and Services (appropriately acronymed SOS) department.

“This is part of our continuing efforts to show that Penn State takes information security very, very seriously. This is the reality of the world we live in today. We believe the establishment of this office will better serve Penn State’s security needs in the years ahead,” Jones said.

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About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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