[ISN] Audit questions Minnesota Education Department computer security

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/221881331.html By JIM RAGSDALE Star Tribune August 30, 2013 State computers that direct billions of dollars in state and federal funds to schools and contain private information on students need better security measures to protect that data and the network’s integrity, Minnesota’s legislative auditor has found. The report released this week found no breaches or stolen data from the mammoth computer systems of the Minnesota Department of Education, but found that the department lacked “adequate internal controls” and comprehensive security plans and had failed to document where private data was held or the internal controls needed to secure it. “The findings are very concerning to us,” said Josh Collins, communications director for the Education Department. “The security of student data is very important to us.” The department agreed with the audit’s findings and vowed to work with the office of MN.IT Services, the state’s information technology experts, to address them. The report said the department employs more than 100 separate computer applications to track distribution of state aid to schools, teacher licensure, lunch programs and special education. A total of 60 MN.IT employees are assigned to the department, managing more than 1,000 department computers, servers, mobile devices and printers. Just two of the department’s applications, the audit stated, processed $7.3 billion in state and federal payments to schools in 2012. […]