• Law, Policy -- and IT?

    Tracy Mitrano explores the intersection where higher education, the Internet and the world meet (and sometimes collide).


Security Discussions

Notes from the Educause security professionals and higher education privacy conference.

May 14, 2015

We are all on the same page! After years of bridging the gap between “privacy” and “security” my sense in the aftermath of these two conferences is that higher education community is becoming increasingly aware and interested in closing the gap between these two areas of law, technology and business practice on our campuses. A more sophisticated approach, one that transcends each of those respective areas in favor of comprehensive information management programs that seek institutional governance, compliance and risk management.

That is really good news for those who have been working in these fields for some time now. Institutions interested in maximizing effective and efficient practices are the ones moving forward with integrated information security and privacy programs. Given the pressures on higher education overall, it would seem to me that those are the institutions that will last and meet societal needs for higher education in the global information economy of the foreseeable future.  Institutions that did not get the memo about global Internet security threats, the necessity of building privacy practices into overall information management and have stuck their heads in the sand on campus wide information governance will falter by a thousand cuts of chronic data breach, liability in the form of uneven privacy practices in large, distributed environments and overall inefficient practices. Moreover, our own internal business intelligence and institutional research practices make a clear case for policy about what higher education institutions do with the data we collect.

 So where do we go from here? If the conceptual battle is starting to come to a close, then it is time to get down to brass tacks of creating good templates for integrated practices and program plans for implementation. It will take a village to tackle this effort. I, for one, look forward to the alliance of organizations such as Educause, Higher Education Privacy Conference, Internet2 among others – including campus leaders – to pick up the baton and carry this work forward in support of higher education’s missions overall.


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