October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 28, 2016



by Danicia Steele at 7:07 AM in Campus Community, Interesting

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness about cyber security. This month, the UTSA Office of Information Technology's (OIT) Office of Information Security (OIS) is helping increase the awareness of cyber threats and educating UTSA faculty, staff, and students on the proper practices to avoid threats.

UTSA continues to be a target for cyber threats. Cyber threats have varying agendas all of which include gaining access to university data and network resources. The threats come from single actors, criminal organizations, and nation states. What is important about these is that there is something each of us can do to help prevent them.

Keep your myUTSA ID safe. This is the easiest and perhaps the most important thing you can do.  NCSAM reminds us that protecting your identity prevents these threats from compromising your online identity and your university resources. Consider also what UTSA's CIAS Director, Dr. Greg White, says, "Backup, Backup, Backup!" Make sure your critical files are copied to a secure location in the event that they are lost

Be sure to protect yourself and our university by making sure you are doing your part. There are pitfalls you can avoid with a little bit of what we call cyber hygiene. Cyber hygiene is a collection of steps that you can take to improve your cyber security and better protect yourself online. The steps include:

  • Awareness of emails from those you don't know or trust.
  • Avoiding using your myUTSA ID for anything other than valid UTSA services. 
  • Using backup services for all your files.
  • Keeping malware off of your computer and making sure your online activity is encrypted. 

You can do your part with these simple steps to counter the threats we face and help ensure your systems and your data remain safe.

UTSA is constantly on the watch for emerging threats and innovating ways to counter them. University staff, faculty, and students play an important part in keeping threats at bay. NCSAM is a good time to review your cyber hygiene and do your part to stay safe!

 

Article written by UTSA Information Security Operations Officer Kevin Kjosa