I want to follow-up on a news story that aired on Wednesday about the exposure of certain student data and provide you with complete and accurate information. Last week, a menu item link in our student information system, MyCSN, was inadvertently activated that allowed students to search and view other students’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, NSHE IDs, class schedules, dates of birth and the last four digits of their social security numbers.
This occurred in the course of making some security changes to the system and steps were immediately taken to resolve the issue on Friday when we were made aware of and verified the problem.
The information that was potentially exposed for approximately 48 hours did not contain personally identifiable information as defined by state statute, involving financial accounts, driver’s license numbers or social security numbers. In addition, no grades, financial aid, counseling or similar information was able to be viewed. Only students logged into MyCSN had the ability to access the link and search for student information.
I want to assure you that we at CSN and the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) are committed to the security of your personal information, and we have re-doubled our efforts to protect your data. As a result of this incident, we have changed our procedures to require all security changes that impact the student portal of MyCSN to be reviewed at least twice by separate units before being implemented. In addition, we are working to alter certain features to create a more secure electronic environment for students through MyCSN so that we may all enjoy the benefits and efficiencies of this new system.
Lastly, it is important to note that everyone within the CSN community, including faculty, staff and students, has an obligation to respect the privacy of others. If you come upon someone else’s private information, do not pass it on or display it publicly, but rather take steps to stop the disclosure and notify the proper authority – in this case the Office of Student Affairs or the HELP desk at 651-HELP — so that any inadvertent exposure can be corrected immediately.
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Chemene Crawford’s office at 651-5830.
Dr. Michael D. Richards,