Data Breach at University of New Mexico Affects Tens of Thousands

Media Division | May 17, 2017

It seems like there is a new data breach or cyber attack every single day.  Various holes in security and system vulnerabilities allow attackers to continue to penetrate organizations, steal a wide variety of information and funds, and damage systems and networks. And in yet another incident, a data breach at the University of New Mexico led to around 23,000 individual’s personal information being compromised.

According to a spokeswoman for the university’s fundraising organization, the foundation had sent letters on Monday to several parties that were potentially affected by the breach, such as employees, vendors, donors, and annuitants. The letters were sent a complete month after the breach was initially discovered.  It was found that there had been unauthorized access to a file server, which was detailed in a memo sent to trustees on May 10th. The memo had said that the initial breach was discovered on April 17th. Spokeswoman Jennifer Kemp had said that the delay between discovering and reporting the breach was due to the amount of time it took them to determine the extent, handle the security, and find what and whose information was affected.

What Information Was Affected in the Breach?

The memo had said that the breach potentially compromised donation amounts, contact data, checking account and routing numbers for 22,000 donors, as well as bank data, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for over 750 vendors, employees, and annuitants.  Fortunately, they said that the database of advanced vendors was not affected.  This database contains information in regard to over 300,000 university donors and alumni.

According to reports, it appears that the university had addressed the breach quite well, being that they patched the immediate security hole, thoroughly evaluated the situation, and notified those affected.  These are all very vital steps in properly mitigating a breach. They could have probably notified those potentially affected somewhat sooner, in the event that any suspicious activity with their accounts had shown up.  But, UNM did enlist a repair service and credit monitoring firm to ensure that those potentially affected were covered. This is a critical point of mitigation, as customers or clients need to see that an organization cares for their well being and is taking the steps to protect them.

Why Employing Data Breach Solutions is So Vital

In our day and age of widespread cyber technology, we hold an extremely large amount of data and assets within the digital realm.  And this, of course, puts it all at potential risk for being targeted by cyber attackers, and many have been successful in breaching organizations. A data breach can result in an extremely large plethora of damages and consequences, which makes it vital that organizations are able to properly address a breach.  This is where data breach solutions are highly valuable, as there are many steps that need to be taken when compromised, such as patching the vulnerability, assessing the damage, and tracing/eliminating the source. Few organizations can say that they are fully prepared for the event of a breach, as most assume they will not be compromised, but this can be a dangerous mentality.  There still needs to be preparation in place, as this way, the organization will not be left scrambling in the event of a breach.  Massive Alliance’s data breach solutions can help an organization to be able to properly address and recover from an attack or breach.

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