Security is always a top priority for an institution like Simpson College. Why should cybersecurity be treated differently in the age of technology?
Historically, Simpson students and faculty have used eight-digit passwords to access school accounts and essential services and products. Each year, everyone on campus was responsible for resetting their passwords to a different her eight-character password. As this cyber tradition continued, the hack and her Zoombombing became increasingly relevant, leaving a lasting scar on campus.
Simpson’s chief information officer, Dan Sloan, acknowledges the problems associated with previous password usage. “You can crack them with modern computers,” he said. [eight-character] Passwords are very fast. Like minutes,” he said.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cited by Sloan, sets many information technology (IT) standards and uses longer passwords to increase the time hackers need to access information. I am beginning to recommend that
Once fully switched, Simpson will need a 14-character password. Earlier this year, IT emailed me that by requiring longer passwords, I would only need to reset my password if my account had been compromised.
Setting it to reset less frequently also eliminates the annoyance associated with practice. Resetting passwords is far from my favorite pastime on campus. Anna Schewe, her sophomore, said: One year, when she reset her password, she admitted that she had to involve her IT department to fix the problems that arose.
“In the state of modern computing, it would take years to decipher it. [14-character] password,” said Sloan. The implemented 14-character password requirement does not mandate the use of different types of characters or symbols, which reduces the overall complexity of passwords created by students and staff. Passwords will be easier to remember, he said, Sloan. New requirements allow passwords to be as simple as phrases and allow spaces.
“In the long run, this password policy will be easy for everyone,” he said.
As policies and regulations change, Sloan must continually adapt. A better question for him is not if the next ransomware attack will happen, but when.
“Unfortunately, we are moving from a trusted environment to a zero trust environment and it has to do with changes in information systems,” he said.
He said higher education institutions are the target of major cyberattacks because they hold large amounts of data. Not only is there personal information that can be stolen, so is research.
The cyberattack also shut down the university, Sloan said, referring to Illinois-based Lincoln College. The school did not survive his December 2021, losing all data for the next first year. Cyberattacks ultimately led to the shutdown of the 157-year-old educational institution, he said. It provides a harrowing example of the threat that ransomware and other cyberattacks pose to universities.
Simpson IT switched to a 14-character requirement on January 23rd, so students can choose to switch now. https://simpsoncollege.onelogin.com [パスワードを忘れた]or wait until the password expires before resetting it.