Welcome to all the students who have joined us at Berry since the last newsletter! I hope your fall semester has started off well, and that it continues to be good. As I usually do in this first newsletter of the academic year, I’m going to stick to the basics.
Cyber-criminals don’t take the summer off …, as evidenced from the steady stream of phishing emails reported and the information the Office of Information Technology gleans from our various security and logging systems. I almost always remind you in these newsletters to treat any unexpected email, phone call or text message with caution, which is still great advice, but what about those of you, who by the nature of your job must deal with unexpected communications all the time?
Happy July! I hope everyone enjoys their half-day Fridays! That’s about all the good news I have, unfortunately. Times of national (and international) upheaval, like the COVID pandemic, war in Europe, and the like are, similar to death and taxes – inevitable. What is also inevitable is that some people will use these times to prey on the fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of everyone else to try and take your money. “They” need your money RIGHT NOW to solve a problem, invest in the future, or fight back against a threat. They will email you, call you, even text you to solicit your money. The flood will be relentless…
and that’s just the politicians.
Summer is upon us! With all of the things that go on here at Berry during the summer, I am endeavoring to keep this newsletter somewhat brief, but still informative. First, there is some late-breaking news about a new vulnerability in Microsoft Windows and Office. If you read nothing else in the newsletter read this first section, unless you are a Mac user…if so, you can safely skip it if you NEVER use a Windows machine. After that, we’ll consider the question of where have you been and what have you done over the last thirty days? If you don’t remember, and you have a Google account, then Google most likely knows. While all of the things you did were most likely a mix of work and personal activities, I’ll offer you an encouragement to attempt to keep those activities and the data resulting from them separate. Finally, some updates…actually, there are LOTS of updates. I’ll update you on the important ones.
The theme for this newsletter is UP! I warn you, there will be some wordplay in the newsletter, so just brace yourself!
I am tackling two different major themes in May – both of which have the word “up” in them. They are backups and updating software. These two these are reflected on the monthly poster, which can only be seen this month in Krannert and various departmental offices around campus.
As April arrives, we can see the end of the semester approaching rapidly, maybe too rapidly for some. I hope everyone is able to navigate these final weeks of the spring semester with success and alacrity. As always, new cybersecurity threats, mostly similar to the old ones, but with updated themes, continue to crop up. This newsletter will briefly discuss one of these threats in particular (with a bonus factoid) and give a report on how our first campus-wide cybersecurity awareness training course is proceeding. Finally, we’ll take a deeper dive into passwords, password managers, and multi-factor authentication.
March! Yay! March! The third month of the year has begun, and it will be busy, as we have reached the midpoint of the semester, and can now look forward to spring break, warmer weather, and the end of the semester. This is not to say that we don’t have plenty of challenges ahead of us.