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For more than 35 years, Barton County Community College in central Kansas has been preparing students for success through a blend of classroom and practical hands-on education. A majority of the school’s degree programs incorporate the use of technology to prepare students for today’s workforce, while its wired buildings and computer labs ensure that technology access is at the fingertips of its more than 5,000 students.

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, President Obama called for a 60-day review of national policies and structures related to cybersecurity. The denial-of-service attacks launched against some government and commercial websites here and in South Korea over the July 4 weekend probably proved the necessity of such a step to any remaining doubters.

THE DANGERS PEOPLE MIGHT encounter on a college campus are the same as those on a city street. Since there is no way to know when a security incident might occur (unless, say, someone calls in a bomb threat), campus leaders are relying on proper training to enable their security personnel to predict such incidents and respond appropriately.

While security personnel at community colleges deal with the same challenges faced by their counterparts at four-year institutions, there are some twists presented by the more fluid nature of the population at two-year institutions.

THE CALL CAME IN AT 9:22 P.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 2, FROM THE Radford University (Va.) EMS team, an all-student, volunteer rescue squad, that there had been a fatal shooting just one block from campus. Dennie Templeton, who directs the school’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, remembers the time exactly, because within 15 minutes he had set up an emergency operations center (EOC) to interact with the outside responders who were fast arriving at the 9,500-student school.

Twenty years ago, projectors had three "guns," weighed between 80-120 pounds, were the size of a coffee table, and took a crew of technicians a couple of days to install and converge. They were dim, expensive, and finicky machines, but the one advantage they had over today's bright, ultra-portable, and inexpensive projectors was that you could come into the classroom or lecture theater and pretty much count on still finding them, on the ceiling, where they were yesterday. Theft wasn't an issue.

With more than 50 percent of all identity-related security breaches occurring on college campuses(1) and high profile cases making headlines nationwide, security and identity management are top concerns for higher education institutions. Breaches carry grim consequences—including potential loss of thousands or even millions of dollars, not to mention negative publicity, which can result in lost funding or decreased enrollment.

WHEN IT COMES TO SERVERS, YOU CAN have too much of a good thing. Just ask Carsten Puls, vice president of strategic and product marketing for NComputing. “In the past, we needed a different server for every function: internet, e-mail, enterprise resource planning.” As a result, the data centers at NComputing, which offers desktop virtualization solutions, became overloaded with servers. And each server—because it typically performed only one function?used only a portion of its processing capability.

Educational institutions have very special requirements when it comes to security. They must maintain a difficult balancing act between open communications and secure networks while meeting the diverse needs of students, faculty, staff and alumni and their host of autonomous desktops, laptops, and handheld devices, all with limited IT personnel and budgets. To make matters worse, the movement toward Web 2.0 has driven more people and applications to the web where hackers lie in wait to take advantage of new vulnerabilities gained through the largely unprotected port 80.


“Identity theft may not be your fault, but it could be your problem,” says Dan Holden of IBM’s X-Force research group, which examines identity theft. “It’s hard for any organization to achieve a high level of prevention and control, but it’s worth the effort to try.”