October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October 2, 2015

Recent high-profile cybersecurity incidents like breaches at the US Office of Personnel Management, Sony Entertainment, and UCLA Health remind us of the ever-present security risks we all face.  Since October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, now is a great time to review your current practices and implement simple steps to reduce your personal exposure and that of the University.

We will be circulating a small cybersecurity awareness poster to all campus departments later this week.  Please post this reminder about clicking links in a place where everyone in your department will see it.  Virtually all successful cyberattacks use legitimate user credentials.  The most common way criminals access these credentials is through phishing, where users indiscriminately click email links and provide their usernames and passwords.

We launched a new UCSB Information Security website (http://security.ucsb.edu) to concentrate resources from across campus and the Internet for your quick reference.  The site includes news, information for faculty/staff, tips on social media and security, forms for reporting security incidents, and a multitude of articles, blogs and website links.  This site will be updated weekly, so take a look around and come back often.

The University of California is launching a system-wide initiative requiring all UC faculty and staff to complete cybersecurity awareness training annually.  We will roll out a new online course later this month. It is built around short, fast-paced videos designed to teach and reinforce cybersecurity skills.

Lastly, remember that cybersecurity precautions at home are as important as they are at work.  Accept system updates when they are offered. Run antivirus software.  If you have children, teach them to be safe online.  You will find many helpful pointers on the information security website.

You hold the key to securing yourself and our campus community.  Please use it wisely.