Cyber Security Awareness: Cover Your Assets

October 26, 2016

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and ITS is taking the opportunity to implement initiatives aimed at helping you protect your assets and stay safe.

“You are the fish.”

The rash of phishing attempts experienced at UW-Platteville over Homecoming weekend proved a timely occurrence in a month that recognizes Cyber Security Awareness. The ITS Help Desk received over 300 reports of suspicious emails.  Your alerts help to keep all Pioneers safe. Thank you!

On the flip side, however, there were also 50 compromised accounts as a result of those phishing attempts.  This means there is work to be done.

To increase awareness, ITS is launching a year-long campaign entitled, “You are the fish.” Watch for monthly posters and digital signage bearing helpful tips and useful resources to educate yourself on how to avoid the phishing hook.

CYA: Cover Your Assets-a Cyber Security Awareness Event

ITS is developing a series of interactive CYA events to increase your knowledge of cyber security issues.  The first such event is next Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to stop by the Markee Pioneer Student Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1 for our first cyber security awareness event of the year.  Between 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. you may attend a round of 5-minute presentations and/or participate in interactive games, online quizzes, and short discussions with ITS staff on security issues.  Door prizes will be randomly awarded from those who attend. Come when you can, leave when you must. Learn stuff, stay safe – win prizes!

Watch for details on this CYA event later this week via email, poster, and Facebook.

“LIKE” us on Facebook! 

In conjunction with the CYA event above, every person who likes the ITS Help Desk page on Facebook beginning October 28 through November 1 will be entered into a random drawing for an awesome prize! Follow the ITS Help Desk to stay on top of phishing attempts, maintenance outages, and other campus technology news.

Defense in layers: Cyber security involves more than just phishing awareness.

Cyber security encompasses the actions taken to information and connected devices against unauthorized access, attack, change, destruction, etc. No one action can make your computing experience secure; the best protection is Defense In Layers.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville provides environmental defenses such as firewalls, spam filters, and anti-virus software for campus equipment. Projects completed or started in the last year that involve security include:

  • Updated data center firewall
  • Implemented Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) appliance
  • Created off-site back-up at a sister institution
  • In PASS – audited access, reduced student security threats to personal info by limiting what information is available at each level of access
  • Incorporating UW System policies approved in August
  • Began preparation for 2-factor authentication; watch for more information to come on this project!

Each of us can add additional layers to those cyber defenses through good computing practices (i.e. not opening suspicious emails) and having a healthy dose of paranoia in what we disclose online and what we store on our devices and in the cloud, such as social security numbers, addresses, banking information, and other information that can potentially be used to compromise your identity, finances, or safety.

Want to increase your cyber security awareness?

ITS recommends the following resources to get you started:

Always remember and never forget…

ITS reminds you that we will never ask for your username and password in an email – or via a link from within an email.  Never, ever.  Seriously!



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