Peninsula College staff follows up on cyber attack

PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College has received more information about the number of students, employees and retirees whose personally identifiable information may have been exposed by a third-party cybersecurity incident.

Earlier this summer, filesharing application MOVEit Transfer used by hundreds of businesses and organizations worldwide was impacted by a cybersecurity incident.

The college does not use the MOVEit software, although two of the college’s vendors do: NSC and TIAA.

One Peninsula College student was impacted by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) MoveIt incident, the college said in a press release, which added that the student has been notified by the college and NSC and that NSC is offering to provide two years of free credit monitoring services for the student.

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) — the governing state agency that oversees all 34 colleges across the state — is coordinating the response for employees and retirees who may have been impacted if their personally identifiable information was potentially exposed by PBI, a third-party vendor to Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA).

The SBCTC notified 12,400 employees and retirees across the state’s college system; PBI is offering to provide two years of free credit monitoring services to those individuals.

A college task force working closely with the state attorney general’s office researched TIAA’s role and determined the college was two steps removed from the incident through PBI and that SBCTC would take the lead. They informed the college and community with the information on hand.

The college contracts with NSC on a number of endeavors, including enrollment, transcript ordering and degree verification services as well as student loan reporting requirements. The National Student Clearinghouse is a nonprofit organization that provides educational reporting, data exchange and verification services to more than 3,600 colleges and universities nationwide. Personally identifiable information and student education records are provided to NSC as part of this work.

TIAA offers financial services to employees across the country working in academic, research, medical, government and cultural fields. Peninsula College provides TIAA with personally identifiable information of employees who use TIAA’s services. Data transferred from PC to TIAA was not compromised as part of the incident, although the organization has indicated that Pension Benefit Information, LLC, one of its vendors, has been impacted.

College staff advise that all should continue monitoring their personal information closely. They urge obtaining a free annual credit report from each major credit reporting company, namely Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. In case of any concerns regarding identity theft, people may also wish to consider contacting the Federal Trade Commission through their website at https://www.ftc.gov or https://consumer.ftc.gov/features/identity-theft.

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