Security Awareness – April 2015

Last month, the Office of Technology Systems kicked off a Security Awareness initiative. As part of this series, we are sending monthly broadcasts that provide information on recent news and security tips around the use of technology. For this month….

In the News

There many newsworthy events that caught the media’s attention. One event in particular was the acknowledgement by British Airways, which stated that frequent flyer accounts were compromised. Although personal information was not believed to have been stolen, customers are reporting that their frequent flyer reward points have disappeared.

Closer to home and on the higher education front, two New Jersey universities, Rutgers and Fairleigh Dickenson, experienced denial of service attacks. “Denial of Service” (DoS) happens when cyber vandals make use of sophisticated tools to flood Websites or computing systems with “fake” online traffic that sometimes makes the Website or service completely unavailable.

Technology Tip

It’s important for us to stay informed and take steps to protect ourselves. As you can see from the news items mentioned above, cyber attackers are constantly getting better at what they do. This is especially true for cracking passwords. This month’s tip is about protecting ourselves with the use of strong passwords. Knowing that long and complex passwords are difficult to remember, we suggest not using a password; rather, to use a “passphrase.” For example, “I love Dunkin Donuts!” would be an excellent example because it uses spaces, capital letters, characters, and is 21 characters. Read more about passphrases from this month’s Ouch newsletter.

Save the Date: Security Awareness with OTS

Mark your calendars. This event will provide important information about security threats that are present and how you can protect yourself from these threats, as well as how OTS is protecting you.

It will be held on Thursday, May 7 (note date change since last month’s announcement) in Building 3N, Room 112 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.