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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.

 

 

 

 

 

New e-waste bins at IT

Monday, October 4th, 2021

 As part of the campus “Going Green” project Facilities Management will be placing e-waste bins at selected spots on campus. We encourage staff and students to use these bins for any non-asset e-waste.

Two of these yellow bins (see example right) will also be located at IT. A bin will be placed at the IT HUB by the entrance and a second one will be placed at the IT Main building in Hammanshand Rd at the service entrance (facing IT the door on your right) Both bins will be just inside the buildings by the doors. 

WHAT IS E-WASTE?

Electronic waste (e-waste) or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) are the terms used to describe old, end-of-life or discarded appliances using electricity. It includes computers, consumer electronics, batteries etc. which have been disposed of by their original users.  More on e-waste.

We encourage all staff and students to use these bins for any non-asset e-waste. Bins will be serviced by Wasteplan and weekly inspections will be made by the university’s Wasteplan site supervisor to assess when a collection is needed.

For assistance and enquiries please email fmhelpdesk@sun.ac.za.

 

Remember to check your Junk Email folder

Monday, August 30th, 2021

To ensure that staff and students aren’t exposed to malicious phishing or spam emails our system administrators and security team had to enable a stricter spam filter earlier this year as added protection.

A spam filter assigns every message, received and sent, a spam confidence level based on the likelihood that the message is spam. Depending on its level an inbound message may be relayed directly to the user’s Junk Email folder. The filter looks at certain criteria contained in the email it rates, for example too many hyperlinks or a suspicious file attached. Tweaking the filter can be tricky – we don’t want you to miss important emails, but at the same time it’s our responsibility to protect you and all our staff from harmful attacks. 

For this reason, it’s important that you regularly look in your Junk Email folder in case the spam filter might have relayed it there. 

The main purpose of Microsoft Outlook’s Junk Email Filter helps is to reduce unwanted email messages in your Inbox. Junk email, also known as spam, is moved by the filter away to the Junk Email folder. This is done at an institutional level by Microsoft (as mentioned above), but you can also flag or “un”flag messages from a person or company as Junk email.

How to change your spam filter’s preferences.
How to tag an email as junk mail.
How to report spam or junk email to Microsoft. (downloadable PDF-document) 

If you have any questions, please log a request on the ICT Partner Portal.

Service levels impacted by COVID

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

We have a number of positive COVID cases among our support staff.  In all probability our support service levels will be reduced until the affected staff are able to return to their normal duties.

Only critical on-site support for staff will be possible as per appointment at the ICT Main Building. During this period requests can still be logged on the ICT Partner Portal and we will attend to them as quickly as possible.

We apologise for the inconvenience.

Extra layer of security added to campus computers

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Cyber crime is a constantly evolving field. Even though the majority of viruses were created as pranks, it’s essential to stay informed of the various risks that exist on the internet if you want to stay safe online. Here’s a breakdown of the basics: 

Malware, or malicious software, is a catch-all term for any type of malicious computer program. Malware is the most common type of online threat.

Ransomware is an emerging form of malware that locks the user out of their files or their device, then demands an anonymous online payment to restore access.

Adware is a form of malware that hides on your device and serves you advertisements. Some adware also monitors your behaviour online so it can target you with specific ads.

Spyware is a form of malware that hides on your device, monitors your activity, and steals sensitive information like bank details and passwords.

The world of cyber crime is very similar to that of technology. Every year, new trends, breakthroughs, and tools emerge.

You’ve probably noticed a Malwarebytes Threat Scan icon on your desktop or laptop (Figure 1). Don’t worry, this isn’t a brand-new type of malware. Stellenbosch University’s IT department has added an extra layer of security to campus computers.

Figure 1

Malwarebytes Incident Response is the trusted standard in automated endpoint remediation. Unfortunately, with the current environment, some malware will return after removal and Malwarebytes will prompt you to initiate a restart (Figure 2).

Figure 2

This is because the malware will sync to your browsers profile and will be synced back to your device after it has been removed.  If you are experiencing such daily prompts for restarts by Malwarebytes, we suggest that you log a request on the ICT Partner Portal for a technician to assist with further remediation.

[ARTICLE BY BRADLEY VAN DER VENTER]

 

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