VU in the News

It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month! Vincennes University's digital experts encourage everyone to do their part!

Learn more about this initiative:

October 16, 2020

VINCENNES, Ind. - Vincennes University today announced its commitment to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held annually in October, by signing up as a Champion and joining a growing global effort to promote the awareness of online safety and privacy. 

 

The Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champions Program is a collaborative effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations, and individuals committed to this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme of ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.’ The program aims to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. 

 

“The theme this year is very appropriate because we do need everyone to do their part and own their role in the fight against cybercrime. Participating in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) provides our Information Technology students with the opportunity to learn how to educate others and create awareness about protecting digital assets, which is an important part of being a successful IT Professional,” VU Information Technology Chair Jaci Lederman said.

This cybersecurity awareness campaign serves as an excellent reminder of every student, faculty, and staff's responsibility to ensure and protect our network, devices, and systems in use at VU. One of the myths is that cybersecurity is only an IT issue, nothing can be further from the truth. Our technology and data are only as secure at our weakest link accessing such. During October, the University’s Management Information Center (MIC) will be enhancing security awareness and education. Specifically in partnership with KnowBe4, an email phishing awareness and training program, will be further implemented to reduce the risks of malicious emails, which are considered to be our single greatest threat at this time.

The overarching message of this year’s theme, ‘If you Connect it, Protect it,’ dives into the importance of keeping connected devices safe and secure from outside influence. More than ever before, connected devices have been woven into society as an integral part of how people communicate and access services essential to their well-being. Data collected from these devices can detail highly specific information about a person or business which can be exploited by bad actors for their personal gain. Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to shed light on these security vulnerabilities while offering guidance surrounding simple security measures to limit the susceptibility of threats for commonly used devices.

In collaboration with VU’s Management Information Center (MIC), Information Technology students will provide security tips and best practices on: 

  • Empowering our workforce with resources on cybersecurity (Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart) 
  • Security hygiene for connected devices on public wi-fi networks (If you Connect it, Protect it)
  • Secure password creation using passphrases (Lock Down your Login)
  • Spotting email phishing attempts a (Think Before you Click)

Information Technology students maintain a website dedicated to cybersecurity. Throughout October, this site, vinu.edu/secure, will be used to communicate awareness and cybersecurity-related information.  

“It is scary how easy it is to be hacked and scammed,” VU Information Technology student Tyler Stevens said. “The NCSAM is a good reminder about all the different ways cyber attacks happen and how to protect yourself.”

If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences, or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.

“From small non-profits to multi-million-dollar revenue-earning organizations, the risk of cyber attacks is something that must be addressed and mitigated. The students in our Information Technology Concentration Bachelors of Science degree program are making the connection between business processes at the functional level and the need for cybersecurity throughout the supply chain,” Lederman said.

Students in Lederman’s ERP Systems class are connecting with organizations to learn how different various businesses create awareness about cybersecurity in their workforce.

“I found it interesting that some businesses have not really thought about or addressed the need to have cybersecurity in place,” VU Information Technology student Nathan Lengacher said.

VU Information Technology student Macy Wieling added, “Cybersecurity isn’t something you want to learn about the hard way. Businesses of all sizes can use the NCSAM as a way to educate their employees.”

Now in its 17th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to build momentum and impact with the ultimate goal of providing everyone with the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. Vincennes University is proud to support this far-reaching online safety awareness and education initiative which is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“Cybersecurity is important to the success of all businesses and organizations. NCSA is proud to have such a strong and active community helping to encourage proactive behavior and prioritize cybersecurity in their organizations,” said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, NCSA.

For more information about Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 and how to participate in a wide variety of activities, visit staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/. You can also follow and use the official hashtag #BeCyberSmart on social media throughout the month. 

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