Security breach at Savannah college

Eric Curl reports

Several hundred Armstrong Atlantic State University alumni’s Social Security numbers have been compromised following the theft of a hard drive from the school’s campus in early October.

The numbers stored on the device belonged to former nursing students who attended the university before late 2006, said Armstrong spokesperson Francisco Duque. That was when the university stopped using Social Security numbers for student identification.

Read more in The Augusta Chronicle.

Update: The University posted a notice on its web site but it doesn’t really provide specifics:

Armstrong Nursing Security Breach

The Savannah Morning News published a story today (December 31) about a stolen portable hard drive from the nursing department in early October that contained the social security number of several hundred former nursing students. (The College of Health Professions has established an information line about this security breach at 912.344.3529).

Upon learning of the security breach, the university set out to identify any sensitive information on the stolen drive and personally contact every former student who may have been affected. Every former student whose information may have been on the drive has been contacted and made aware of the breach. We did this out of an abundance of caution, even though we have strong reasons to believe that information on the drive will not be used for fraudulent purposes and that the theft of the hard drive was a crime of opportunity.

We wish this incident had never happened. As information becomes more and more portable, we face the growing challenges that all small and large organizations have in keeping data secure.

We have layered in additional security procedures and privacy policies to protect your information as a student. For example, since late 2005, university does not use social security numbers as student ID numbers – we do this to protect your individual identity. In addition to building in layers of protection and privacy, we will be conducting further training for all faculty and staff who handle sensitive data.

At Armstrong, we value our students and the information they share. As your university of choice, we are working to create a safe, secure environment – both online and on campus. For more details, see the Savannah Now article.

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