In the wake of an audit that resulted in the suspension of two top-level information technology staffers, officials at Ohio University (OU) are working to correct mistakes that compromised 173,000 Social Security numbers in school computers.

The latest in a string of high-profile security breaches at several major U.S. colleges and universities, OU's troubles have prompted school technology directors nationwide to reexamine an important question: how to balance the need for personal security with the educational benefits of an open and accessible technology infrastructure.

Since February 2005, universities nationwide have accounted for almost 50 percent of computer data theft, according


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