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Baruch should invest in updating technological infrastructure

Eliana Hernandez

A malware attack halted all on-campus activities from Sept. 25 to Oct. 7 with classes being online the first week. To avoid further disruptions, Baruch College must prioritize investing in modernizing its technological infrastructure to improve its Wi-Fi and cybersecurity measures.

The network disruptions have set back learning as courses resumed in-person classes even though internet connectivity was limited.

Baruch announced the return to on-campus learning in a campus-wide email sent on Sept. 29, encouraging students to bring their cellular devices fully charged to access the internet through their own cell service.

Many students rely on resources provided on campus such as internet access during the learning process when they are taking their online classes, completing assignments or studying. Despite this, computer labs remained closed with student services such as tutoring and counseling operating online.

Additionally, student activities have remained on low priority as on-campus student club meetings remain online or fully canceled.

The malware attack occurred amid celebrations of the release of the 2023-28 strategic plan. Optimizing operations and infrastructure is one of the plan’s four priority areas.

Key initiatives include improving digital infrastructure to “increase efficiency, improve processes and reduce administrative burden,” according to the plan.

However, the recent malware attack was an indication that Baruch urgently needs larger investments to improve its digital infrastructure.

Baruch is responsible for protecting students’ information. While the school has confirmed that personal information has not been stolen, a breach in network safety should be a wake-up call.

Furthermore, there have been warning signs from other organizations to pay attention to cybersecurity.

For example, Sony, an electronic company was hit with a ransomware attack by RansomedVC, a new ransomware group, the same week Baruch was hit with a malware attack.

Additionally, it was among 300 organizations that experienced a data breach in 2021. The breach put students’ and their family members’ information at risk.

There is also increasing concern toward cybersecurity with the implementation of new technology. Artificial intelligence is being used to create realistic and personalized emails according to Talk Business & Politics.

With increasingly realistic phishing emails and cybersecurity attacks, it is important now more than ever, to have strong protective measures in place to protect Baruch students and faculty.

To remain a reliable resource for students and prevent future issues, Baruch must work on its technological infrastructure. Baruch can no longer ignore that these issues have reached its front door.

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