October was National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and as the month concludes, ITS offers some insights and tools.
First – Spam and Phishing continue to evolve and are really one of our biggest threats. Targeted messages can trick you into giving up your credentials, and others simply want you to click a link so that it can exploit an unpatched operating system or application running on your computer. It is critical that we are vigilant against such attacks — when in doubt, throw it out.
Second – Make sure that you are backing up your important data on a regular basis. Data can be lost in several types of incidents (computer malfunction, theft, viruses, spyware, accidental deletion and natural disasters).
Third – Malware continues to evolve and so should we. These days we have to defend against viruses, spyware, botnets and ransomware. The best defense is to have the latest security software, web browser, and operating system in place. Make sure your system is updating regularly. Also, be mindful that other devices connecting to the internet can be targets (e.g., gaming systems, smartphones, home automation devices) and also need protection from such malware. Lastly, keep in mind that USB and other external devices can also be infected and need to be regularly scanned for malware.
The university makes a number of resources available to help you build up your defenses.
Please make sure you are using the following:
– AMP: Advanced Malware Protection
– ISO: Protect your Privates campaign
Also, IT support staff can take advantage of the ISO’s Managed Splunk service. This service not only provides access to key ISO data, but also allows units to store and search log data from their key systems. To try it out, complete the Splunk onboarding request form: https://forms.security.utexas.edu/splunk_onboarding/splunk_onboarding.
Thanks for all that you do – be cybersafe and enjoy your weekend!!