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Information Security Awareness Training

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Part of living in a connected world is understanding that our private information is more vulnerable. ID theft and data breaches are no longer isolated incidents, they happen every single day.

So why would a university be targeted?

Universities hold a great deal of information that could be exploited if it gets into the wrong hands. This information includes personal details and research data.

Consequences and why it matters:

Though not all data security incidents will lead to the loss or theft of information, they will expose information to unwanted risk.

A full data security breach will involve a known disclosure or inappropriate access to information, which is a more serious incident. Any data security incident could potentially be disastrous for both you and the institution.

In an effort to create awareness around some of the typical hacks that we all fall prey to, we have made an Information Security Awareness training programme available. This is a self-study programme with fun quizzes in-between. This is by no means a programme that you will need to have a pass record. This course is strictly informational so that you will have the necessary tools when it comes to Information Security.

To access the course, go to https://learn.sun.ac.za. When the SUNLearn main page opens, click on the “Information Security Awareness Training” link and log in with your network username and password. If you’re successfully logged in, scroll down and click on the “Enrol me” button to enrol yourself for the course and to access the training material.

If you are unable to log on to SUNLearn and you are certain that the network credentials you have entered are correct and active, please log a request via https://learnhelp.sun.ac.za for SUNLearn support.

 

 

 

 

 

Why is cyber security important?

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Cyber security is the skill and ability of protecting networks, devices, and data from unlawful access or criminal use and the practice of guaranteeing confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

Communication, transportation, shopping, and medicine are just some of the things that rely on computers systems and the Internet now. Much of your personal information is stored either on your computer, smartphone, tablet or possibly on someone else’s system. Knowing how to protect the information that you have stored is of high importance not just for an individual but for an organisation and those in it.

Did you know that:

  • As of 2021, there is a ransomware attack every 11 seconds, up from 39 seconds in 20191,2
  • 43% of cyber-attacks target of small businesses, and they have grown 400 percent since the outbreak began

More tips and resources can be found here

The US government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has made a collection of tip sheets available for use. These downloadable PDF documents contain all the information you need to protect yourself from cyber security risks in a convenient, compact format. 

More tips and resources can be found here

[SOURCE:  Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, United States Government

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Creating strong passwords

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Before we pointed out that most people underestimate the importance of having a secure password, and still make the mistake of using simple words and numbers as a password.

Keep in mind that your email and social network accounts contain very personal information about you. You must have a strong password to keep your personal life personal, and not become a victim of identity theft. 

  • Using email or your profile on Facebook, Whatsapp or Google, hackers can and do, extract a huge amount of personal data of your personal “online” life.
  • If you use the same password for multiple online accounts, you run the risk, if this password is hacked, of all your online accounts being compromised.
  • Using a personal name for an online account, the name of the city that you live in, the names of your children or your date of birth, give hackers vital clues for attempting to access your personal data.
  • For an average expert hacker, it is always easy to find passwords that are made up of words from the English vocabulary or other languages, using a basic technique called “brute force” or “dictionary” attacks.

What makes a password safe?

  1. A password at least 8 characters long.
  2. The password does not contain information that is easy to find online, such as the date of birth, the telephone number, your spouse’s name, the name of a pet, or a child’s name.
  3. The password does not contain words found in the dictionary.
  4. The password contains special characters like @ # $% ^ &, and numbers.
  5. The password uses a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters.

A trick that the experts use to create secure passwords:

Think of a phrase and use the first letters of the words in the phrase.

  • For example: “In South Africa, a barbecue is called a Braai!”
  • Take the first letters of each word and the password that is created is ISAabicaB!
  • This will be very difficult to guess, but easy to remember.
  • At this point, you can decide to make your the Google password is ISAabicaB!-G,  and Facebook ISAabicaB!-F and your university account  ISAabicaB!-US and so on.
  • There is already a capital letter and a special character (!), so you just need to add a number to finish off a good password like 9-ISAabicaB!-US (9 could be the month you created the password in – for example)

You will have already made your password a lot more difficult to hack, and it can be a lot of fun to create. 

eduroam available at Tygerberg

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

TENET and the Western Cape Government, in partnership with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, have been piloting eduroam in four of the Western Cape provincial hospitals:

  • Khayelitsha Hospital
  • Tygerberg Hospital
  • Groote Schuur Hospital 
  • Mowbray Maternity Hospital

The continuation and expansion of this programme within the hospitals and into other hospitals depend on the provincial Department of Health seeing value in the deployment. Unfortunately it seems that the demand on these four sites has been lower than anticipated, which could mean that there’s a risk that the pilot will not be extended. 

We would like to encourage staff and especially students who are on placement within one of the four hospitals where the trial is available to make use of the eduroam facility.

Unfortunately, eduroam coverage isn’t (yet) ubiquitous, with only a few access points in each hospital carrying the network. Currently eduroam is available near the main entrances of each of these hospitals or close to staff areas.  In particular, it is likely to be found close to signage for Liquid’s own Free Public Wi-Fi (see image right)

Once connected, students should be able to get Internet access without the usual cap that applies to the public Wi-Fi in those locations.  

More on the use of eduroam can be found on our service catalogue.

 

 

To meet or not to meet …

Monday, October 4th, 2021

Due to the current working-from-home situation we are likely to spend more time either in a teams meeting or on a Zoom call. Those working from home might have experienced a sharp increase in the number of virtual meeting invites since lock down started last year.

 We are either bouncing from one meeting to the other or struggling to schedule meetings, trying to establish who’s available and who’s not. This might be a short-term overreaction to the lack of other communication channels and social contact, but it could get in the way of productivity and efficiency.

Productive meetings are ones where you need to share expertise and the topics discussed require synchronous collaboration – where people need to be live at the same time, if not the same place. It is also helpful if you are dealing with conflict or need to build closer relationships.

On the other hand, if there’s no clear outcome, the topics are irrelevant, the outcome could be delivered without a meeting or you have no active role except to listen, then you may want to decline the meeting invitation. Typically, if we look at meeting content 40% of meetings are not necessary at all.

If you accept meeting invitations by default, particularly those without an agenda, you are saying that what the other person wants to talk about is a better use of your time than your own work.

Declining meetings can be a challenge to existing meeting agendas and fixed ways of working, but discuss the necessity of a meeting with your meeting leader. This could open up a discussion in your team about which topics you need to discuss and which are not important. Below is an infographic decision tree which might help you or your colleagues reconsider scheduling a meeting.

Take this opportunity to improve your meetings, save yourself time and improve on working towards a productive environment.

SOURCE: https://www.wrike.com/blog/meeting-infographic-decision-tree/

[ARTICLE BY MANDY WANZA]

 

 

 

 

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