If you have problems reading this, visit http://www.miami.edu/communications/messages/2011-2012/um_02_06_12.html.

February 6, 2012


To the University Community:

Headlines about universities reporting significant data loss or theft have become commonplace. Nationwide last year, more than 660 data breaches were reported to the Identity Theft Resource Center. A breach is an event in which an individual’s name, Social Security number (SSN), driver’s license number, medical record, or a financial record/credit/debit card is potentially put at risk. Some breaches are caused by hacking, human error, theft, or malicious attacks, while others result from carelessness or lack of awareness about security practices.

Universities are high-value targets for data theft because they possess large amounts of sensitive information. Our challenge is complex—we depend upon openness to fulfill our mission, but also have a responsibility to protect information that is in our trust. Managing this risk effectively requires an ongoing commitment to planning, execution, and the cooperation of everyone who handles sensitive data. To that end, we are taking steps to take our data protection efforts to the next level.

Leading these efforts are Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Steve Cawley and Associate Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer Tim Ramsay, who are responsible for ensuring that high-quality information security programs exist throughout the University. Actions to be implemented include:

  • Raising awareness of the need for information security.
  • Promoting the use of ULearn modules with basic IT security training relevant for most positions, along with specialized content for specific jobs.
  • Completing a University-wide information security risk assessment.

You will hear more about these initiatives from Steve and Tim in the weeks ahead. We ask that each of you do your part to handle sensitive information in a careful and responsible manner.

If you have questions, please contact Tim at ciso@miami.edu or 305-284-4006.


Thomas J. LeBlanc
Executive Vice President and Provost
Joe Natoli
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer