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Internal Auditing

Case in Point:
Lessons for the pro-active manager

October 2014
Vol. 6 No. 10
''It is the fool who thinks he cannot be fooled.''

-- Joey Skaggs

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and annually we reference this event in Case in Point. In fact, throughout the year we routinely discuss IT and data security events in this publication due to the importance of the topic and the numerous risks involved with data and technology.

It is coincidental that Cybersecurity Awareness Month ends on the day of the year that throughout the country the phrase ''trick or treat'' will be uttered countless times. There are many ways we can be ''tricked'' cyber-wise and cause harm to ourselves and our institution's systems. One of these ways involves ''Phishing.'' We've discussed phishing at various times since this publication began but it continues to be a problem within higher education (and other organizations).

Phishing is simply a modern confidence game that attempts to get you to reveal certain information. AU's Office of Information Technology has some great resources and tips regarding phishing here at http://keepitsafe.auburn.edu/. Take a look at this practical information and increase the odds you won't be tricked into providing information to someone with harmful intentions.

As you know though, there are many other risk areas where we can run into problems within higher education from areas as diverse as academic concerns as we saw reported recently at the University of North Carolina this month to how to deal with the potential of the Ebola virus on campus. We again invite you to review the stories that are being reported within our industry over the past month and think of ways you can help our institution proactively prevent problems.

M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing

Information Security & Technology Events

Oct. 28, 2014: Arkansas State University-Beebe announced the report of a potential data breach affecting students and staff at multiple locations. ASU-Beebe has known about the possible breach since October 21. School officials say servers were immediately taken offline after getting the report. According to a statement from the university, the problematic server did not have credit card information for any current or former student or employee. (link)

Oct. 17, 2014: Mistakes in setting up popular office software have sent information about millions of Americans spilling onto the Internet, including Social Security numbers of college students, the names of children in Texas and the ID numbers of intelligence officials who visited a port facility in Maryland. The security problem, researchers say, has affected many hundreds of servers running popular Oracle software, exposing a peculiar melange of data to possible collection by hackers. Most of the institutions affected have been universities or government agencies, though they hold a wide range of information on individuals and private companies. (link)

Oct. 16, 2014: Marquette University has suffered a potential data breach because of a technical glitch that allowed anyone with Marquette login credentials access to personal information on people's graduate school applications kept on an internal server. (link)

Oct. 9, 2014: North Dakota State College of Science Information Technology Services department has been alerted to malware activity on a number of NDSCS-owned computers in Wahpeton and Fargo and has taken immediate steps to ramp up security on its systems. Personal information such as names, Social Security numbers and mailing addresses of more than 15,000 current and former students and employees were contained on some of the affected computers. Those whose information was found are in the process of being notified. (link)

Oct. 1, 2014: A warning tonight for some Fort Hays State Graduates, after the college learned some personal information was compromised. Fort Hays State University said it was security breach online that led personal information and social security numbers of 138 former students to be available on the internet. (link)

Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Oct. 30, 2014: Prosecutors have agreed to drop all 22 felony charges against three former UNCG employees accused of falsifying time sheets. UNCG fired the trio Sept. 24 for allegedly taking part in a freelance photography business while at work. (link)

Oct. 28, 2014: Westchester Community College is reviewing the transcripts and academic eligibility of dozens of its students-athletes over the last three to five years after The Journal News revealed that two star basketball players had their athletic scholarships yanked from Florida A&M University because of phony transcripts. (link)

Oct. 22, 2014: The University of North Carolina on Wednesday released the results of an independent investigation into academic fraud in the university's Department of African and Afro-American Studies, finding that the creation of so-called ''paper classes'' with few real academic requirements aided more than 3,000 students. (link)

Oct. 8, 2014: Two schools – Lindenwood University in Missouri and Rollins College in Florida – recently advised U.S. News that they submitted inflated data that were used in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings. (link)

Oct. 2, 2014: The comptroller for the Florida State Seminoles Boosters turned himself in to the Leon County Sheriff's Office Wednesday on a felony charge of grand theft in connection with stealing money from the nonprofit and using the money to pay for his own investments and other personal expenses, according to court documents. (link)

Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Oct. 22, 2014: Oklahoma State University is suing New Mexico State University over the use of a pistol-packing mascot that it says is ''confusingly similar'' to the Cowboys’ own Pistol Pete. (link)

Oct. 21, 2014: A Washington D.C. rabbi who serves as an associate professor at Towson University has been suspended with pay by the school after being arrested and charged with voyeurism by D.C. police last week, school officials said Tuesday. (link)

Oct. 19, 2014: The number of federal investigations into how colleges handle sexual violence reports has jumped 50 percent in the past six months, reflecting a surge of recent discrimination claims and the difficulty of resolving high-profile cases that often drag on for years. (link)

Oct. 16, 2014: A learning management system provider is suing one of its clients for breach of contract, alleging the university let more students use the system than previously agreed. The university, meanwhile, has responded with its own lawsuit, saying the company is charging ''exorbitant fees'' for a ''malfunctioning product.'' (link)

Oct. 9, 2014: It's always good to meet the neighbors. So, when Chicago State University President Wayne Watson wanted to say hi to his neighbors in the South Side Beverly neighborhood, he threw a party using public funds. (link)

Oct. 8, 2014: A former student is suing Virginia Wesleyan College, claiming that she suffered a brutal sexual assault in 2012 and the college allowed her assailant to voluntarily withdraw from school so he could enroll elsewhere. The lawsuit, filed in Norfolk Circuit Court, claims the "college knew that female students faced an especially high risk of rape from lacrosse team members." It alleges the school knew that "male students were drugging female students, rendering them incapacitated and raping them." The lawsuit asks for $10 million. (link)

Oct. 6, 2014: Mercer County Community College has agreed to pay $275,000 to a former assistant professor who sued the school, claiming it failed to accommodate her disability. The school admits no wrongdoing in the settlement, which was reached on Sept. 23, according to court documents.(link)


Campus Life & Safety Events

Oct. 30, 2014: A professor who was suspended for posting online a photo of his daughter wearing a T-shirt with a ''Game of Thrones'' quote that officials argued could be threatening said the school's decision to rescind his punishment did not go far enough. (link)

Oct. 29, 2014: Nationally, marijuana use among young adults has clearly been trending upward. The percentage of college students who reported smoking within the previous year plummeted from a high of 51 percent in 1981 to a low of 26.5 percent in 1991, and has been zigzagging back up, to some 36 percent in 2013, according to the Monitoring the Future Study at the University of Michigan. Data released in September show that one of 20 college students (one of 11 men) gets high daily or near daily, the highest rate since 1981. To put that in perspective, from 1990 to 1994, fewer than one in 50 students used pot that frequently. (link)

Oct. 28, 2014: A registered sex offender has emerged as a star player on a top tier college football team, resuming his athletic career after being expelled from the Air Force Academy where he was court-martialed for sexual assault.(link)

Oct. 23, 2014: Four FarmHouse fraternity members were jailed Thursday afternoon on suspicion of giving an 18-year-old the alcohol that killed him, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials are suspending the chapter indefinitely. (link)

Oct. 20, 2014: University of Minnesota officials are knocking down a tweet claiming its researchers say Ebola is airborne. University spokeswoman Caroline Marin told the Star Tribune in Minneapolis that the university never made such a claim. (link)

Oct. 19, 2014: Ebola concerns have prompted the University of Georgia to postpone a guest lecture by a Liberian journalist. (link)

Oct. 18, 2014: Three graduate students were injured Saturday afternoon after a chemical explosion at the University of Rochester. School officials said the three students were doing lab work in the basement of Hutchison Hall, which houses the school's chemistry department. (link)

Oct. 16, 2014: Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel du Cille of The Washington Post, who returned from covering the Ebola crisis in Liberia 21 days ago and who is symptom free, was asked by Syracuse University officials today not to come to campus where he was scheduled to participate in a journalism program. (link)

Oct. 15, 2014: Twenty-eight current and retired Harvard Law School professors are asking the university to abandon its new sexual misconduct policy and craft different guidelines for investigating allegations, asserting that the new rules violate the due process rights of the accused. ''This is an issue of political correctness run amok,'' said Alan M. Dershowitz, an emeritus Harvard Law professor who was among the faculty members signing an article, sent to the Globe's Opinion page, that is critical of the new procedures. (link)

Oct. 13, 2014: Two Yale students who have returned home from researching the Ebola outbreak in Liberia will not sequester themselves for three weeks as originally planned, the university's school of public health said in a letter to students and staff Monday.(link)

Oct. 13, 2014: N.C. State football coach Dave Doeren suspended seven players Monday for what the school described in a statement as a ''game with BB guns at their off-campus residence.'' (link)

Oct. 9, 2014: A University of Southern Mississippi fraternity pledge was arrested Wednesday night a Hattiesburg Zoo flamingo theft case. (link)

Oct. 6, 2014: Two students at Bryn Mawr College tacked up a Confederate flag in their dormitory hall and taped a "Mason-Dixon line" across the floor - a move they said was merely a display of their Southern pride. (link)

Oct. 6, 2014: Harvard University police are continuing to investigate a death threat that was emailed to several hundred Harvard affiliates, among others, on Friday afternoon, as new pieces of evidence came forward throughout the weekend claiming that the original threat was a mistake. (link)

Oct. 5, 2014: Offensive graffiti --- including swastikas --- was found early Sunday morning on the Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter house at Emory University, the university confirmed to Business Insider Sunday. AEPi is a national traditionally Jewish fraternity, and the swastikas and other graffiti were spray-painted on the house shortly after the end of Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days in Judaism. (link)

Sept. 30, 2014: One in 10 current female students at the University of Oregon indicate they have been raped while attending college, according to a new survey of 982 students released Tuesday by Jennifer Freyd, a professor in the UO's Department of Psychology. (link)

Sept. 30, 2014: The University of Alabama announced the arrest of a student who allegedly made a terrorist threat last week. Daniel Evan Simmons, a 19-year-old University of Alabama student, has been arrested by University of Alabama Police and charged with making a terrorist threat. Simmons' Facebook account lists him as having graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 2013 (link)

Other News & Events

Oct. 7, 2014: Controversial professor Steven Salaita, who lost his job offer from the University of Illinois after criticizing Israel on social media, lashed out at university administrators Monday for overreaching in their decision not to hire him. (link)

Oct. 7, 2014: The University of Tennessee last week named its business school after a prominent alumnus who made his fortune from a chain of truck stops---a family business that recently paid the U.S. government millions to settle fraud charges. The news raises questions about how business schools convey the importance of ethics and how they weigh the value of mega-gifts against the alleged sins of their donors. (link)

Oct. 6, 2014: Ten years after the University first adopted a grade deflation policy, faculty members voted on Monday to reverse the policy and allow each department to determine its own grading standards. The repeal of the policy is effective immediately. (link)

If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, please e-mail me at robinmk@auburn.edu. We hope you find this information useful and would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Feel free to forward this email to your direct reports, colleagues, employees or others who might find it of value. Back issues of this newsletter are available on our web site at https://www.auburn.edu/administration/oacp.

If you have any suggestions for items to include in future newsletters, please e-mail Robert Gottesman at gotterw@auburn.edu.

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Department of Internal Auditing
Auburn University
304 Samford Hall
M. Kevin Robinson, Exec. Director

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