MARICOPA COMMUNITY COLLEGES REPORT DATA SECURITY INCIDENT
Potentially affected individuals are being notified and offered assistance
TEMPE, AZ - November 27, 2013 - As part of a comprehensive response to
security vulnerabilities within its IT systems, the Maricopa County
Community College District (MCCCD) announced today that it is
notifying approximately 2,489,000 students, employees and suppliers of
its colleges that their personal information may have been exposed
MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper said, "On behalf of the district, I
deeply regret that this occurred and am leading a thorough response
designed to prevent this from happening again. We are examining
every aspect of our IT operations, and the changes underway are making
us stronger system-wide."
"While we are not aware of misuse of anyone's personal information, we
are providing resources to assist all of the people whose information
was in these systems, including credit monitoring and other identity
safeguards, managed by a nationally known identity protection firm,"
Dr. Glasper added.
District officials first learned of IT security problems from federal
law enforcement on April 29, 2013, and promptly began an
investigation. Forensic experts were retained to assess and
strengthen the operations of district data systems, and to examine
whether any sensitive information was accessed or exported.
In addition to cooperating with the ongoing law enforcement
investigation, the district informed the Arizona Auditor General's
Office of this situation and has provided extensive briefing to this
regulatory body. The Higher Learning Commission also has received
extensive briefing concerning this situation, and states that the
district "is doing an excellent job in addressing this situation."
Regulators outside of Arizona also have been contacted consistent with
The complex investigation involved multiple servers and systems, and
an extensive review of data, operations and processes over several
months. The investigation found employee conduct that did not meet
the district's standards and expectations, and appropriate employment
action is being taken.
As a result of the district's IT security vulnerabilities, certain
sensitive information including individual names, dates of birth,
Social Security numbers and bank account information, but not credit
card information or health records, was exposed. The district is not
aware of any evidence of actual misuse of any personal information.
After learning of the incident, Dr. Glasper ordered action on several
· Initiating immediate actions to strengthen security and take
offline portions of its IT systems with security vulnerabilities until
improvements could be completed;
· Installing new security technology, including firewalls,
real-time blocking and monitoring functionality, and other security
· Conducting a comprehensive review by independent experts of all
IT security policies and procedures and implementing increased
· Taking employment action in connection with employees whose
conduct did not meet standards and expectations, and making personnel
changes as warranted.
The district has contracted with Kroll Advisory Solutions to provide
identity safeguards and other services for one year at no cost to the
individuals who are being notified by letter that their data may have
The Maricopa Community College system is made up of 10 colleges -
Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise
Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale and South Mountain. There are
also the Maricopa Skill Center and the Southwest Skill Center,
Maricopa Corporate College and several satellite facilities.
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