Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) is continually evaluating current policies and implementing new measures that protect its students, staff members and stakeholders from security breaches of confidential and sensitive information.

At the NICC Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 20, Information Security Officer Rhonda Seibert, Calmar campus provost, provided her annual update of procedures that the College has implemented to limit access to confidential information and to further strengthen data security.

The actions of the 20-member information security team include the continuance of document scanning and electronic archival of student records to reduce paper-based files and cyber security updates to prevent potential breaches to the College's computer network.

"Incidents of breaches of sensitive and confidential information are reported frequently across the country," Seibert said.

"Education and the health care industry are also prime targets."

Other security measures include ongoing education and awareness programs for employees who are responsible for responding to inquiries and who routinely work with confidential information. Recent updates include the moving to secure, electronic systems for student refund processing and for the transfer of data between NICC campuses and centers.

"We are very serious about data security for all of the entities associating with NICC, such as staff, faculty, students, agencies, business partners and vendors," NICC President Liang Chee Wee, Ph.D., said.

The budget

NICC Vice President of Finance and Administration John Noel and Thomas Ridout, NICC executive director of finance, presented the fiscal year 2015 estimated budget, for July 1 through June 30, 2015, to the Trustees. The board approved a resolution setting a public hearing for the total estimated FY15 $62.25 million budget at the board's regular meeting in February.

In his report, Ridout provided feedback from the annual audit of the College's finances and fiscal stewardship, which was conducted by Hacker, Nelson & Co., P.C.

"There were no issues in the audit, and we are in good financial position as a college," he said.