MTU closes Cork campuses due to ‘significant’ IT breach

7 Feb 2023

MTU’s Bishopstown Campus in Cork. Image: MTU

MTU said all part-time and full-time classes at its Cork locations have been cancelled so the university can assess the issue and protect its systems.

Munster Technological University (MTU) has closed its Cork campuses for two days to assess a breach of its systems.

All part-time and full-time classes at the impacted campuses have been cancelled for today (7 February) and tomorrow (8 February). The closure will impact the Bishopstown campus, National Maritime College of Ireland, Crawford College of Art & Design and the Cork School of Music.

In a statement, MTU vice-president Paul Gallagher said the closure is taking place due to a “significant IT breach and telephone outage”. Gallagher added that this is a “precaution” to fully assess the situation and protect the college’s systems.

The university said it will issue further updates on its website as the situation develops. MTU also shared the information on Twitter yesterday evening (6 February).

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, said on Twitter that his department will “work closely to support MTU” as it resolves this issue.

MTU was established at the start of 2021, after a consortium of Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee received technological university status in May 2020.

It was the second technological university established in Ireland and comprises six campuses across Cork and Kerry, holding roughly 18,000 students.

It was the first university to be established in Cork since University College Cork in 1845, and it was the first university to ever be established in Kerry.

Last October, MTU researchers joined the EU’s Robin project, which aims to help regions reach their bioeconomy goals by analysing current policies, reviewing good practices and developing governance models.

The following month, MTU was approved to expand its Bishopstown Campus, in order to scale up its capacity to meet growing student numbers.

Cyberattacks continue to be a risk for organisations in almost every sector. A recent survey by the Institute of Directors in Ireland suggests 41pc of Irish businesses have experienced a cyberattack, with most of these taking place within the last two years.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic