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One Step Ahead
July 15, 2008, Volume 55, No. 1

One Step Ahead

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Information Security and Privacy at Penn–2008 Year in Review

For the 2008 academic year ending June 30, 2008, Penn experienced a sharp drop in the numbers of hacked computers and a respectable drop in numbers of alleged copyright infringement notices. The most serious security and privacy incidents were most often due to lost or stolen computers or portable data storage devices.

The number of hacked computers in 2008: 239, is down 63% from 2007. Reasons for the improvement include broader use of automated patch management software and personal firewalls and a gradual replacement over time of older insecure computers. If you use a desktop or laptop computer older than three years, your single most effective step to tighten security would probably be to upgrade to a new computer.

While the numbers of alleged copyright infringement are down 29%, it’s still worth a reminder that illegally downloading or sharing copyrighted music, movies or games is a violation of Penn policy with sanctions for employees up to and including termination.

Finally, the loss or theft of portable laptop computers and storage devices like USB flash drives is a growing problem. Consider purchasing Computrace software to assist in recovering lost or stolen laptops.


To receive weekly OneStepAhead  tips via email, send email to listserv@lists.upenn.edu with the following text in the body of the message:  sub one-step-ahead <your name>.

For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: www.upenn.edu/computing/security/.

Almanac - July 15, 2008, Volume 55, No. 1