Higher Education Commissioner Dave Buhler says thousands of hacking attacks are targeting the websites of Utah's public colleges and universities every day, just like they have been attacking major companies.
He says more hackers are going after students' personal and financial information to exploit.
"Our institutions also have very critical data, which is personal information on students. And we are constantly under attack," Buhler says.
Buhler asked the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee for money to fight back.
"2.1 million dollars system wide, to strengthen our firewalls and our cyber security across the system," Buhler says.
The money would be in the annual budget for the staff and resources to make more secure IT environments. It appears to be the same amount in last year's higher education budget. Buhler says it would go across 8 public colleges and universities in Utah to combat the growing digital break-in attempts.