National Cyber Security Awareness Month - October 2017

October 2, 2017

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM is designed to promote awareness about cyber security by educating faculty, staff, students, and the other members of our community about ways to protect themselves and the campus. Hackers continuously bombard UCSB with cyberattacks. Our networks and servers include security measures that thwart most, but not all, of these attacks. Each of us plays a critical role in protecting our data, PCs, and mobile devices. With all of our security protections, it’s often easier for a criminal to hack you than your computer.

This year, we’re focusing on two related areas of cyber security, where humans, not technology, are most vulnerable: passwords and phishing. The majority of cyber security incidents around the world start with phishing that leads to compromised passwords. Once a criminal has a password, they try to use it at high-value sites across the Internet to commit fraud. They can also use it to steal sensitive information, like protected student data, from our campus. Strong passwords are an essential part of security. Keeping them secure by resisting phishing attacks is equally important.

This year, the campus will participate in NCSAM by providing educational information and hosting events:

  • Signage across campus including posters and videos in common areas
  • A presentation on security topics at the Administrative Services town hall
  • Three showings of the movie Terms and Conditions May Apply on October 12 followed by discussions on privacy (10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. at the Loma Pelona Center, room 1100)
  • Cyber security tips and important information on the security website at
  • A new UC Cyber Security Awareness Training course,  available later this year

You are at the front line of cyber security. When you open an infected attachment or click a bad link, you can instantly render all other protections moot, but you are not alone. No single person, university, or business can secure the Internet. Each one of us has a part to play. Securing our mobile devices, computers, networks, and private information requires a collective effort. You can make the Internet safer and more secure for everyone by using more robust cyber security practices.