Tech Tip: Cyber Hygiene

October 18, 2016



by Danicia Steele at 6:40 AM in Campus Community, Interesting, Tech Tips

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In the era of the digital age, we rely extensively on the Internet and storage devices for many aspects of our lives, so the need to be proactive and vigilant to protect against cyber threats has never been greater. To achieve a higher level of security, we need to adapt a good cyber hygiene strategy. Our goal is to make sure we are protecting and maintaining systems and devices appropriately and using cyber security best practices for anything and everything that connects to the web. It includes organizing security in hardware, software and IT infrastructure, continuous network monitoring, and user awareness and training. In short, cyber hygiene is a plan to appropriately protect and maintain IT systems and devices and implement cyber security best practices.

To move forward, we must adopt a way to identify the weakest links in our devices and to address these weak links. The Office of Information Security (OIS) recommends:

• Identifying every device that is connected to the Internet. Any device that is connected to the Internet is vulnerable to cyber-attack. It creates an attack surface and an entry point for the cyber criminals. 

Security Hardening: Devices, systems, and applications must be "hardened" to secure and reduce the entry point for a cyber-attack. This includes the encryption of data, two-factor authentication, using strong passwords and proper configurations. 

• Security Patches: Being diligent in applying updates and patches to the device and the installed applications. According to a Verizon 2015 data breach investigation report, many existing vulnerabilities remain open, primarily because security patches that have long been available were never implemented.

• Backup: You should implement a good backup strategy. Regular backup of sensitive data is part of a good security strategy for your data. It is the last defense against data loss or data theft. Do not forget to attempt to restore your backed up data to make sure that your backups are functioning and that you are backing up the correct data.

To view more tips and resources for National Cyber Security Awareness Month please connect online with UTSA Office of Information Technology on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

For more information on the UTSA Office of Information Security please visit:

Students:

https://utsacloud-public.sharepoint.com/Pages/Security/Students/GuidelinesForStudents.aspx

Faculty & Staff:

https://utsacloud-public.sharepoint.com/Pages/Security/FacultyAndStaff/InformationSecurity.aspx