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Safeguarding the Tower: IT Security in Higher Education 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006


When ECAR studied IT security in 2003, we discovered that despite efforts to develop a secure IT infrastructure in higher education, uneven management awareness and a culture that equated good IT security with the curtailment of academic freedom constrained IT security options and choices. The results of this 2006 study of IT security in higher education demonstrate that there has been a sea change in less than three years. This study not only assesses the current condition of IT security practice, but documents changes in practice over time among a constant set of respondents. Among 492 total survey respondents, fully 204 institutions responded to both the 2003 and the 2005 surveys. Extraordinary changes in both hard and soft security measures were reported. Nearly one-third of responding institutions now have a chief information security officer, and more than 60 percent of the 2005 respondents have a centralized IT security function. The study is supported with qualitative interviews from 18 higher education institutions and organizations and with three case studies.

Table of Contents
Entire Study Safeguarding the Tower: IT Security in Higher Education 2006 [PDF 1,965 KB]
  Foreword [PDF 71 KB]
Ch. 1 Executive Summary [PDF 85 KB]
Ch. 2 Methodology [PDF 168 KB]
Ch. 3 IT Security Technologies Implemented by Higher Education Institutions [PDF 381 KB]
Ch. 4 Organization, Leadership, Policies, and Awareness [PDF 270 KB]
Ch. 5 IT Security Planning and Practice [PDF 140 KB]
Ch. 6 Security Incidents, Response Practices, and Procedures [PDF 182 KB]
Ch. 7 IT Security Program Success: What Matters [PDF 148 KB]
Ch. 8 The Continuing Evolution of Effective IT Security Practices [PDF 286 KB]
Appendix A Institutions Responding to the 2005 Online Survey [PDF 75 KB]
Appendix B Interviewees in Qualitative Research [PDF 50 KB]
Appendix C References [PDF 57 KB]
Appendix D Other Resources [PDF 56 KB]
Appendix E Glossary [PDF 131 KB]
Case Studies
Baylor University's IT Security Risk Assessment Program [PDF 1,158 KB]
The Virginia Alliance for Secure Computing and Networking: A Statewide Collaborative IT Security Resource [PDF 1,150 KB]
Most Improved: How Four Institutions Developed Successful IT Security Programs [PDF 1,170 KB]
Online Supporting Materials
Key Findings [PDF 772 KB]
Roadmap [PDF 128 KB]
Survey Instrument [PDF 384 KB]

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