National cyber security awareness month (NCSAM) is observed every October since its commencement in 2004 in the United States. The NCSAM is sponsored by the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) within the department of homeland security. The NCSAM encourages protection by all computer and mobile devices users.
Due to our lives becoming incredibly connected we as a community are now prone to hacking or compromise if we don’t know how to protect ourselves. So with that being said the security and IT solution department here on campus are using this month to kick off a security awareness campaign that will feature monthly topics with tips and resources to help protect ourselves from cyber or identity theft, in an interview with Michael Menne, Chief Information Security Officer IT solutions Minnesota state university Mankato, “cyber security awareness month is about teaching people cyber hygiene, clicking on secure link and being suspicious about things sent to you”.
He further stated that the cyber security awareness month has been on for about three years and they try to do more every year as the threats keeps increasing, so students need to be conscious about what is being and make sure it’s from the right email addresses.
According to Michael Menne “The student also has a role to play by forwarding suspicious emails to ‘email@example.com’ so we can look into it, the more people report it the better we can protect people, we can tell you if its legitimate or not and if its malicious we can block the site for everybody.”
On advice to students on cyber security Michael stated that “Students should be suspicious careful of what you are sharing and who you are sharing it with, IRS won’t call, they send a letter if there is a problem, also make sure details about your mail is coming from IT solutions as most of the time we take care of account verification, talk to your bank to confirm any mails received about your bank accounts”.
Information’s about cyber security awareness would be done throughout the year and the IT solutions will be communicating through emails, social media and open conversation and posters.
The aim is to share resources that can help you protect yourself. There are other ways and the IT solutions have shared to help you. Some of which are, checking out the University’s CyberAware Security Awareness Website, watching for additional e-mails from IT Solutions with tips and resources for protecting our community, following and retweeting tips from our student @InfoSecNinjas on Twitter and watch for the #CyberAware hashtag in other communications.
You should also attend #CyberAware open conversations that are hosted by IT Solutions that will share information and allow you to ask any questions you may have. These discussions will be held in the Centennial Student Union, room 123, (next to Jazzman’s), from 12 pm – 1 pm on the following dates: Wednesday October 17, Thursday October 25, and Friday November 2.
Feature photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.