THE BLOG

5 Colleges With Data Breaches Larger Than Sony's in 2014

01/15/2015 09:46 am ET | Updated Mar 17, 2015
  • Kyle McCarthy Editor of GenYize.com, which focuses on issues affecting Millennials today. He often writes about business ethics, politics, affordable higher education and #Tech4Good.

We have all heard about the damage caused by the Sony Hack. However, as I posted last week, the Sony Hack was not even one of the top thirty largest data breaches of 2014 in terms of number of files breached.

According to information from the massive database maintained by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse on data breaches, 30 educational institutions experienced data breaches in 2014. Five of the thirty schools actually had larger data breaches than the notorious Sony Hack. The leading cause was from hacking or malware.

Here's a list of five colleges with larger data breaches than Sony's in 2014:

1.) University of Maryland
In March 2014, more than 300,000 student, faculty and staff records were compromised at University of Maryland. Though no financial, medical or academic records were compromised, the breach did include names, birth dates, university ID numbers and even Social Security numbers. According to University of Maryland's student newspaper, The Diamondback,"The database that was accessed contained information from everyone who has received a university ID from the College Park or Shady Grove campuses since 1998."

2.) North Dakota University
In February, 2014, a server at the North Dakota University System storing personal information of nearly 300,000 past and present students was hacked. Such personal information included names and social security numbers.

3.) Butler University
The third largest data breach in 2014 among colleges happened at Butler University. According to the University Herald, hackers got access to the school's network, exposing personal information of nearly 200,000 people. Personal information exposed included names, birth dates, driver's licenses, social security numbers, and bank account information.

4.) Indiana University
The fourth largest in 2014 among colleges happened at Indiana University, where data breach left more than 146,000 current and former students had their personal information exposed. This included names, addresses, and social security numbers of students. IU's response to the data breach ended up costing the school about $130,000.

5.) Arkansas State University
About 50,000 people were impacted by a data breach at Arkansas State University. According to University Business, full and partial social security numbers were leaked.

Other schools with data breaches, though not as large as Sony's, include Iowa State University, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Johns Hopkins University, Auburn, UC- Irvine, University California - Santa Barbara, California State University - East Bay, San Diego State University, and Penn State. See the entire list below.