'Cybersecurity incident' impacts current, former student data – The Suffolk Journal – The Suffolk Journal




William Woodring and Jamie Taris
JD Conte
A “cybersecurity incident” discovered this past summer involving Suffolk University network data affected some current and former students, according to a Dec. 1 email sent to students from Suffolk President Marisa Kelly.
The “unauthorized actor” either accessed or obtained data from those affected. These students will be notified privately, according to the email.
“Persons whose data was impacted will receive an individualized notice in the mail in the coming days describing what type of data was impacted and resources to support you, including a call center to answer your questions about the cyber event,” Kelly said in the email.
In a separate email sent to faculty and staff obtained by The Suffolk Journal, Kelly noted the data involved pertains to certain students who enrolled in classes after June 2002. University employees were not affected by the incident, according to this email.
Suffolk discovered the incident this summer and has been investigating it since. There is currently no evidence that the data was used maliciously, according to the email, but Kelly encouraged the Suffolk community to take precautions, such as monitoring bank accounts and securing personal accounts and devices The email said the unauthorized access to the network did not impact university operations.
Suffolk Spokesman Greg Gatlin said the university began informing students as soon as the initial investigation was complete.
“As noted in the email sent to students, while the incident was discovered over the summer, we began notifying individuals impacted and the broader University community as quickly as possible following the completion of our investigation, the development of a support system for those impacted, and identification of potentially affected individuals thorough review of the data,” he said.
This incident was not unlike other cybersecurity issues affecting similar institutions, Kelly said. 
“Amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as institutions transitioned to remote work, cyber criminals have targeted higher education systems around the world. We are unfortunately just one of many colleges and universities to suffer a cybersecurity incident in recent years, and we are applying our analysis of this incident to further strengthen our robust cybersecurity measures,” the email sent to students said.
Kelly apologized for the incident and said the university will continue working to enhance its cyber security.
“Suffolk University prioritizes the privacy and security of all our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We take our responsibility to safeguard data with which we are entrusted very seriously,” Kelly said.
Gatlin said individual students who were affected will receive more information about what data was affected and what resources the university are available.
Students can access the call center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays at 1-877-409-8111.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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