October News from Information Security

October is here!

Fall is happening! Scenes like the one above are just around the corner!

And…welcome to Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

Even the weather is somewhat cooperating with the beginning of fall. I hope everyone is settled in and ready to take on the rest of the semester. I just want to take a few minutes of your time to welcome you to Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CAM) once again. This is the seventh year that Berry has participated in this international event aimed to remind everyone that cybersecurity is now an important part of our everyday life. Email, streaming services, phones, social media, Internet of Things devices, and even just Internet connectivity all require that we are informed, aware and responsive to the threats to our accounts, devices, and livelihoods.

During the month there will be two topics covered in each weekly article. One topic will be the “official” CAM topic and the other will be geared more for local interest. The first week topics are “be cyber smart”, the CAM topic, and for the local topic there will be an introduction to the revamped News & Alerts site (more info below). The second week is all about phishing, including a general introduction and an example of a locally popular phishing lure. Careers in cybersecurity will be the CAM topic for the third week and the article will include an introduction to our cybersecurity awareness training platform. Finally, the fourth week will talk about how we need to put cybersecurity first in both our work/school and personal life and the local topic will explain one way to do that.

Once again this year we will be having a Virtual Scavenger Hunt with new questions each full week of October. There will weekly prizes and again this year there will be two winners of the grand prizes. This year we are offering Cambridge SoundWorks (Creative Labs) OontZ Angle 3 Ultra Bluetooth speakers to two lucky winners. These speakers are waterproof, last 20 hours on a charge and are compatible with smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth 5.0. The weekly prizes are enhanced this year as well and the fourth week’s prize is quite unique, so be sure to complete all of the phases of the scavenger hunt to be eligible. The hunt will begin Monday morning, October 4th. Check this site for the full details in Monday’s week one article.

When you check the site on Monday, you will notice that almost everything has changed. The Information News & Alerts site is getting a facelift, a new name, and new content. You can continue to access it at https://cybersecurity.berry.edu, but the new name is the Cybersecurity News & Alerts site, and the new address is https://cybersecurity.berry.edu. Don’t try this address yet, as it will not be accessible until Monday at 8:00 AM. With the makeover, there will be some downtime for the site over the weekend. Don’t worry, it will be up and ready to go so you can start the Virtual Scavenger Hunt bright and early on Monday.

Why bother changing the look and feel of the website? While the images and layout are (at least in my opinion) rather pleasing to the eye, it sometimes gets in the way of the information we are attempting to disseminate. The goal of the website is to inform and educate, not to just entertain the visual sense, so we’re moving to a more subtle theme that will put the information front and center, and hopefully still look good. Please let us know in the comments of the first Cybersecurity Awareness Month article on Monday what you think about the new look. We’re open to feedback and want the site to be as accessible, useful and aesthetically pleasing as possible.

You now should have MFA enabled on your account. The most secure way to configure it is to use the Microsoft Authenticator on your smart phone. But don’t stop there! Use the Microsoft Authenticator as your second factor on any site that supports Google Authenticator. Turn MFA/2FA on everywhere you can. Yes, it will take you another few seconds to log in, but your data and account will be safer.

If I’m not covering a topic of information security you are interested in or concerned about, please let me know. I want to be your first and best resource on cybersecurity information, so let me know how I can help and inform you.

If you’re not following Berry OIT on Facebook (@BerryCollegeOIT), Twitter (@berryoit), or Instagram (@berrycollegeoit), you should be, as more information from OIT and specifically Information Security, will be provided using these outlets. If you are not into social media, you can also subscribe to get updates via email. Just use the link available in the right-hand sidebar on the current posts page.

You can always check back here for warnings about current phishing emails, confirmations of valid emails you might have a question about, and data breach notifications. There’s also the events calendar where events will be posted.

Food For Thought

An interesting viewpoint on our ever present and all knowing devices.

Scary thoughts, huh?

Featured image: Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

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