College bound

Considering the number of data breaches affecting colleges and universities lately - about one a week - one had to figure it was just a matter of time before information security vendors began tailoring their products specifically for that space.

Today, Tizor Systems announced the launch of Mantra U, a suite of data protection products and services geared for the higher education community.

According to a release today, the product contains "quick start data auditing templates for data theft protection and data compliance, architecture and design services, custom training courses and deployment services."

Sounds like Tizor is looking to make it easy on colleges - many of whom lack the sophisticated technology and personnel to safeguard their data - to get this technology up and running.

Colleges, as we all know, face unique challenges compared to the corporate world. Their end-users are not only transient but tuned in to technology like no other generation. Combine that with the lure of stealing personal information from people (students) who largely have good credit standings, and it's a disaster waiting to happen.

"Universities face a huge data security challenge," Tizor's President and CEO Joel Rosen said in the release. "They need to provide easy data access to a large number of transient users while protecting sensitive personal and financial information belonging to students, alumni, faculty and benefactors stored in their databases, file servers and mainframe applications."

The cheapest and easiest advice is to eliminate the storage of this personal data, especially after students have long left campus, and to stop using SSNs as identifiers.

But technology defenses are always needed.

Many vendors are touting how their solutions are built for the education space, but creating a product solely designed for colleges and universities, that may ultimately sway the overburdened IT administrator at a community college in Kansas to take notice.

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