Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tabula Rosa Systems Blogf Of 2/6/2016 - Our Best Universities Are Failing Internet Security!

From 9/10/2015
Kelly Jackson Higgins

MIT, Cambridge, Other Universities Get D's In Internet Security

Colleges -- especially large, high-profile institutions -- are facing more cybercrime and nation-state activity.

Final exams aren't for a few months, but several big-name universities already have received low marks from a threat intelligence and risk awareness provider on their overall security posture on the Internet.
SecurityScorecard, which uses a network of Internet sensors and tools to benchmark the security posture of organizations, today published its first-ever Higher Education Security Report on some nearly 500 universities, and surprisingly, the tech-savvy Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) earned the lowest score, a 61%. Next-worst on the list in order were New Mexico State University, Cambridge University, Temple University, University of Virginia, University of Southern California, Boston University, University of California-Riverside, Louisiana State University, and University of Georgia.
In the number one slot of the top 10 Colleges with the best security posture -- an A grade with 97% or higher -- was a community college, Merced Community College in California, with a 98.7% score, followed by Concordia College, Adams State University, Centre College, Henry Ford Community College, University of North Alabama, Golden Gate University, University of Idaho, Gannon University, and Pepperdine University.
SecurityScorecard studied universities with 1,000 or more public IP addresses and graded their security posture based on the reputation of their IP addresses, Web application security on their public-facing apps, DNS health, and network security, including whether they generate bot traffic from infected machines in their networks. Data gathered from SecurityScorecard's sensor-based network is then analyzed by the company's analysis tools, and scored. The firm also studies so-called "hacker chatter" in underground forums about the organizations in question.
Big-name, high-profile schools had some of the lowest scores, the study found. "The strongest security seem to be lesser-known institutions," says Alex Heid, chief research officer at SecurityScorecard. "It could be an indication that they are not as heavily targeted. A lot of the information we pull …  is related to malware infections and exposures to botnets."
"We're able to see open ports that are allowing external Internet traffic," for example, he says. "We have large datasets from massive Internet scans to show what ports and institutions" are exposed, he says.
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