Student, worker data at risk at Maricopa colleges

TEMPE, AZ - The Maricopa County Community College District said Wednesday they are notifying students, employees and others whose information was compromised during a breach of data security back in April.

Approximately 2,489,000 students, employees and others have started to get notifications that their name, date of birth, social security number and bank information could have been accessed during the breach, Communications Director Tom Gariepy said.

Notifications are being sent out, but it could take up to two weeks for students and employees to get them. A company has been contracted through the district to provide identity safeguards and other services at no cost to people who are being notified that their data may have been exposed.

Gariepy said they do not know how far back the breach goes. The district will spend approximately $7 million on notification, the call center, credit monitoring and remediation.

MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper ordered immediate action to strengthen security and take offline portions of its IT systems with security vulnerabilities and taking action in connection with employees and making personnel changes as needed, according to Gariepy.

Since the breach, the district has looked into improving security through firewalls, installing new security technology and other protections, Gariepy said.

The Maricopa Community College system includes 10 colleges and several centers: Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, South Mountain, Maricopa and Southwest Skill Centers and Maricopa Corporate College.

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