Protecting Our Legacy

The University of Miami (UM) is renowned as a top research institution. Recently, the FBI released a notice on “Preventing Loss of Academic Research.” According to the FBI, universities are “prime targets for theft of patents, Intellectual Property, research, and sensitive information.”

‘Espionage’ sounds more like an idea for an action movie than a research lab, but with so much valuable information housed within our institution, it is a real and imminent threat. As an institution leading in scientific, technological, and medical research with strong international connections, it is up to everyone at the University to keep our work safe and keep our legacy of excellence intact.

Research leads to grants, which, in turn, support the University, and perhaps more importantly a reputation for success. The financial loss of Intellectual Property is devastating, but the larger disservice to the University is the reputation. The integrity of research confidentiality is a primary concern of any institution. 

Knowing the signs of a potential espionage attack can protect you and the university. Here are some tips from the FBI:
  • Be cautious of people who show undue interest in your personal or family background, your research area, and your future career plans.
  • Be cautious of people who offer "free favors", particularly those involving government processes such as issuing visas and residence permits.
  • Minimize personal information that you reveal about yourself, particularly online through social media.
  • Minimize your contact with foreigners who have questionable government or criminal affiliations.
  • Report suspicious activity to your local FBI Field Office, US embassy, or Consulate.

Have questions? We're here to help!

If you have questions about cybersecurity, or if you want to learn more about how to stay safe online, contact the Information Security Office (ISO) at: