Data Security Statistic: 23% of College Students Hacked IT Systems.

Research by Tufin Technologies has revealed that nearly a quarter of university students have successfully hacked into IT systems.  Looks like data security professionals will have their work cut out for them in the future…

Stats: 28% Say IT System Hacking is Easy

There are some surprising numbers in the survey:

  • 40% of successful hackers are over 18.  This implies that 60% are under 18, meaning that they’re probably incoming freshmen (the survey was restricted to university students).

  • 84% know hacking is “wrong,” 32% think is “cool.” Well, no argument there, but look who I work for.  Sidebar: were the respondents mostly engineering students or something?

  • 28% found it easy to hack an IT system.  This is actually pretty worrisome, and yet not so much, as you’ll see.

  • 22% did it out of curiosity.

  • 15% did it for financial gain.  I knew a guy in college who made fake IDs.  Maybe ID theft is now the new fake-ID “gig” from years past.

Facebook accounts were the post popular system to be hacked, followed by e-mail accounts, and on-line shopping accounts.

Facebook?  Honestly, what is there to hack?  I guess supplying numerous passwords until something “clicks?”  I mean, as far as I can tell, Facebook doesn’t restrict access to an account after a set number of wrong tries (it asks you if you want to reset the password after the third wrong guess…but it allows you to try again and again.  And again).

This is a different approach to security than what many sites (and products) offer.  For example, our AlertBoot endpoint security software (disk encryption and file encryption) allows rate-limiting and account lock outs to be set up: the latter prevents the possibility of typing in a password after the nth try, locking out anyone who’s attempting to gain access, while the former introduces a time-delay between password tries, so that a hacker’s progress is limited: in one hour, he’d have tried no more than 10 passwords.

More worrisome is the 15% who did it for financial gain.  Combine that stat with the fact that over 50% of the surveyed students did the hacking from other people’s computers (only 39% use their own computers), and you’ve got a potentially big problem in your hands.

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