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Financial Aid Offices Face Evolving Challenge in Cybersecurity Threats

Financial Aid Offices Face Evolving Challenge in Cybersecurity Threats

NASFAA

Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter
December 8, 2020
With everything that has happened since the pandemic upended typical operations on college campuses, it would be understandable if a focus on cybersecurity measures was not at the top of the priority list for financial aid offices.
But in reality, financial aid offices are on the front lines of protecting valuable information of both institutions and students, and a majority are woefully unprepared to combat cyberattacks and lack the tools necessary to keep students’ information safe and secure, according to Jeff Arthur, vice president of regulatory affairs and the chief information officer at East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI).
“This is the year of cybersecurity chaos,” Arthur said, noting how the transition to remote instruction makes institutions more susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. “We’re amazed at how vulnerable many colleges are.”
Arthur’s institution has a focus in providing undergraduate computer science degrees and teaching cybersecurity professionals. But after ECPI fell victim to an attack, he made it part of his mission to sound the alarm and help raise awareness among financial aid offices.
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