Rollins tightens cybersecurity and improves Wi-Fi

Many students have recently complained about network performance and a lack of consistent internet connectivity.  This issue is due, in large part, to the many devices connected to the Fox-Day-Student network – after all, we are at a time in our society when individuals have upwards of five electronic devices.

Two residential halls, Rex Beach Hall and Strong Hall, are currently part of a pilot program that hopes to improve connectivity on campus. Three different companies have installed performance-improving hardware over spring break in hopes of alleviating the problem.  During the remaining months of the semester, the school will determine which company is the most efficient and install that company’s hardware in all residential halls over the summer.

Rollins College is always striving to improve its policies and “has [also] identified our password reset protocol as [another] area where we can improve our College process and improve security,” says Dr. Patricia Schoknecht, Assistant Vice President/CIO & Business Services.

This new password reset process is currently being tested; and, after the process is determined to be functioning satisfactorily, “everyone on campus will soon be notified and asked to build a profile.”
This new reset process will allow individuals to reset their password without assistance.

“It will definitely be more secure, but also more convenient for individualism,” said Schoknecht.
“Cyber security is a major issue for us as a college and for each of us as individuals. Rollins spends a great deal of time and money protecting campus data through a variety of different methods,” she said. This can be evidenced by the new program.

Schoknecht also urged all students to “do everything possible to keep their passwords safe.  If your computer starts to act “funny” in any way, please bring it to the Help Desk so we can check it for problems.”
The announcement of this new password reset feature comes right on the heels of the school’s acknowledgement of “phishing attacks targeting sorority members and female-student athletes” – as was publicized in a school-wide email on February 12th.

Phishing attacks involve hackers accessing an individual’s personal accounts after gaining access to their personal passwords and usernames.
Along with sorority members and female athletes on other college campuses, the FBI recognized that three members of these groups were targeted at Rollins College; the school was automatically notified.
Rollins has since worked with the students to “clean their machines.”

The cyber-security issue has become prevalent on campus just as the debate between national security and cyber security – the FBI vs. Apple question – has begun to die down.
This recent situation on campus raises an important concern: if Apple had been forced to create a software that could potentially disable password protection software for the sake of national security, what would have prevented hackers from gaining access to that same software?

Such a scenario brings new meaning to the term “phishing attack,” and, as the three women who were recently targeted on campus could probably attest to, losing access to your private information is no light matter.  Whether the fact that our society is not yet willing to take such a huge risk for the sake of national security is the right pronouncement remains to be seen, but at least the court’s ruling in favor of protecting of our civil liberties and our right to privacy is by no means an adverse resolution to a question with no best verdict.

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