Tuesday October 10, 2017

Cyber Security: We’re in This Together

Before the turkeys and mistletoe arrive, we’ve got another festive holiday to celebrate. That’s right, folks: October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the most safe computing-y time of the year!

And it’s true, you know, that we really are in this together. Not only do our “oops” moments ripple through the UD community (remember that Google Docs scam earlier this year that spread through the contact lists of infected clickers?), but our moments of cyber-mindful clarity do as well.

So many of you are quick to speak up when something seems amiss on your computer, email or phone line. These reports let UDit’s security team assess and mitigate phish and other threats -- often quickly enough that we never need to send a campus notification. Your reports make a difference, and we’re grateful.

UD or Not UD? That Is the Question.
Speaking of reporting phishy emails, one outcome of phish training is that legitimate emails are getting the cyber-mindful “side-eye”. Even our own on-campus messages to one another can come across as suspicious (*cough* Gmail auto-warnings on our safe computing newsletters *cough*). Emails from legitimate UD entities have been reported to the IT Service Center as suspected phishing.

The reality is that UD business is sometimes conducted through 3rd party software tools that send auto-generated email messages from non-UD domains. There’s a good chance you receive 3rd party messages such as:

With all your cyber-savviness, you may have inspected these messages for the red flags -- unknown senders, inconsistent URLs, suspicious content. And having done so, you may have been unable to determine if the email was safe. What’s a campus to do?

The more you know the harder it is to take action cartoon

Because we’re in this together, both the receivers of emails AND the senders of email can play a big part in collective awareness. Here’s some quick advice for senders and receivers of campus email:

On the sending end? Personalize. If you’re sending a bulk, auto-generated message, edit the default text. And be sure to clearly include the name of a UD contact person/office for follow-up questions. Consider how your message will be received by cyber-mindful people on the look-out for phishing scams.

On the receiving end? Verify directly. If a questionable message claims to be from a UD person or office, contact that person or office directly to check. Use contact info from the Porches directory if it’s not someone you already know. 

So Simple, It’s Scary
If you’ve been worried about our students missing out on all this safe computing info, fret no more! During National Cyber Security Awareness Month we’ll be launching a mini-campaign - Safe Computing: So Simple, It’s Scary - for UD students, with tips to help them stay a little safer online, too. There’s a lot they already know - take a look:

link to video

All Good, Cyber-Mindful Things . . .
Campaigns gotta end sometime. We’re wrapping up “Becoming Cyber-Mindful 2017” and would appreciate hearing your thoughts about cybersecurity on campus and at home. Ten lucky filler-outers will win a cozy UD sweatshirt blanket when our end-of year survey closes at the end of this month. Thanks for taking a few minutes to tell it like it is!

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