While there's no indication that any data was actually stolen, the university recently began mailing letters [PDF] to approximately 39,000 people whose names and Social Security numbers that were accessible on the computer.
All those affected are being offered one free year of Experian's ProtectMyID Alert service.
An additional 19,000 current, former and prospective students whose names and student identification numbers were accessible are also being notified. Those students are being provided with information on how to change their student identification numbers.
"Ferris recognizes the importance of the privacy and confidentiality of personal information that is provided to us," university CTO John Urbanick said in a statement. "We will continue to strengthen our security measures to help guard against future attempts of this kind."