Munster Technological University’s (MTU) Cork campuses will remain closed for the remainder of this week as staff continue to assess the impact of a “significant IT breach”.
The university said further updates would follow but it is planning for a “phased and managed” return to teaching and learning from next Monday.
Outdoor facilities at the Cork campuses will reopen on Thursday in order to facilitate pre-arranged activities such as sports training. The Kerry campus is unaffected.
“This decision has been taken to allow us to follow structured and cautious procedures and protocols that must be completed in order to ensure the security of our systems,” the university said in a statement.
“We continue to engage actively with the relevant authorities including the National Cyber Security Centre and our security partners as their investigations continue.”
MTU said the education of its students was a top priority and it appreciated the patience shown by them, its staff and stakeholders while it completed this “vital work”.
“We are currently assessing all appropriate and effective solutions to allow us to return to teaching as normal and reopen our campuses as quickly and safely as possible. A further update will follow as soon as possible,” it added.
MTU announced on Monday that a significant IT breach and telephone outage had occurred over the weekend. The university said its IT security systems were able to detect the security breach “at an early stage” and it had followed all appropriate procedures and protocols to ensure the security of its systems.
The closure affects the Bishopstown campus, Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork School of Music in Cork City and the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy.
In 2021, an attempted cyberattack at University of Galway resulted in the university having to disconnect its computer systems from the internet for two months.
Senior higher education sources said they are concerned that the wider sector is vulnerable to further cyberattacks due to a combination of underinvestment, the dispersed nature of universities and the high volume of users.