At the end of the 2017 spring semester, Bradley began the process of updating various security features across campus – a project that continued throughout the summer and is still ongoing.
The possibility of campus-wide security vulnerabilities was first brought to campus’ attention after a Scout investigation last spring, which detailed the possibility of cloning Bradley QuickCards with student ID numbers. Shortly after, Bradley officials alerted campus of the updating process of university systems to secure QuickCards and campus buildings.
“We’ve actually changed the physical card itself. Previously, there was [an ID] number on the front, and the new one no longer [has this],” Zach Gorman, Bradley Chief Information Officer (CIO), said. “Further … the magnetic swipe part has been encoded. From a duplication standpoint, that really restricts a lot of things. You can’t just swipe a card now and duplicate it.”
In May, the ID readers of all campus-housing units were updated. Students can no longer gain access into these buildings by swiping their cards – a feature Gorman said enhances university security. Instead, they must utilize the tap function of their cards.
Academic buildings are also being updated. So far, Bradley Hall, Westlake Hall, Morgan Hall, Swords Hall, Michel Student Center, Renaissance Coliseum and CampusTown classrooms have been updated to tap-only ID readers.
“Any of the readers on the doors that could be changed, will be changed,” said university spokesperson Renee Charles. “It’s that ongoing assessment of our technology. That’s one of the things we’re committed to.”
Last semester, students raised concerns about the security of IDs when a QuickCard was mistakenly issued to a 60-year-old non-student who asked the Controller’s Office for one. The man happened to have the same name as an incoming freshman.
“More protocols were put in place to make sure these kinds of things don’t happen,” Charles said. “It wasn’t a fraudulent issue, because it was an ID card that was issued for someone who was coming to register for classes, and the name was in the system, but we needed to have a few more checks and balances … My understanding is that it didn’t have access to anything, that it wasn’t linked to an account.”
According to Charles, staying on top of security issues will always be a priority for Bradley.
“They worked their tails off over the summer to get things changed and make sure things were in place when [students] got back,” she said. “We want to be proactive, not reactive.”
Both Gorman and Charles said if a student believes they know of any security-related issues on campus, they can report them to the Bradley University Police Department or the office of the CIO.