Brown Suspends IT Systems Amid Cybersecurity Threat

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Faculty and staff at Brown University are being asked not to use computers running Microsoft Windows in response to a cybersecurity threat.

The security threat was identified by IT staff members Tuesday. As a safety precaution, IT staff members cut off access to the university’s central data center and connected systems such as Banner, VPN, RemoteApps and some university websites. Cloud-based systems such as Canvas, Zoom and Workday are unaffected.

“We are working with colleagues across the university and are committed to getting systems back online as quickly as possible,” said Bill Thirsk, chief digital officer and chief information officer at Brown, in an online statement.

Staff and faculty are advised to work on smartphones, tablets or computers that run on operating systems other than Microsoft Windows until their Windows machine is given a “known clean” status from IT support.

“We recognize the disruption this will cause and appreciate the patience of the community as we continue to address this challenge,” Thirsk said. “At this point, we are unable to predict the precise timeline for disruption to systems.”

As of Thursday afternoon, the issue was still unresolved, according to an alerts website university IT staff members run.



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