USF’s cyber professionals are participating in October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
From USF News
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 28, 2011) - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is sponsored by the federal Department of Homeland Security, and is geared toward bringing attention to potential threats Internet users face.
The University of South Florida is participating in the annual awareness month and has events scheduled for the USF community to participate in.
USF News asked Alex Campoe, USF’s director of Information Security, to discuss Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the university’s involvement. He is a CISSP-certified Security professional with more than 15 years of experience dealing with
a broad range of issues involving data security, from policy and governance, to detailed data forensics.
Campoe’s professional experience includes responsibilities for Identity and Access
Management, IT audits, Risk Management, writing and implementation of security policies and awareness program. His technical hands on experience includes working with UNIX administration (Solaris, Linux), MySQL, PHP, Perl and data forensics tools. Alex earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.
USF News: What is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is in its eighth year, and it was in 2010 that the White House issued a presidential proclamation declaring October to be National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” is the national cybersecurity awareness campaign, and as the name suggests, the campaign's objective is to raise individuals' awareness of security on the internet. Since 2010, industry involvement with the program has increased drastically. This year, we’re bringing the program to USF as part of IT’s commitment to providing technology services and solutions, and by educating the university community with the most up-to-date cyber security information and promoting best practices in the realm of software and hardware usage.
USF News: Are there cyber security awareness events or activities planned on campus to mark this awareness campaign?
Yes. IT will be present in front of the Library on Tuesday, Oct 4th and Wednesday, Oct 19th. Students, faculty and staff are invited to stop by, chat with IT staff and answer some cyber security awareness questions for great give-aways. We’re also developing a web presence with content designed to address security-related issues, showcasing a different topic every week in October. Posters will be distributed at the Resident Halls and other buildings on campus.
USF News: What is the No. 1 piece of advice you can give someone on protecting their computer and its content?
Keep your computer fully updated and patched. As a critical part of this advice, download and install the Symantec End Point Protection application from http://it.usf.edu/standards/security/tools . The program includes your standard antivirus protection, along with a firewall, intrusion detection, and malware protection. USF Information Technology pays for the license which allows students, faculty, and staff to protect their home computers at no cost.
USF News: How safe is our campus from cyber threats?
Our campus has different layers of protection depending on the sensitivity of the data it houses. Our IT Data Center, for instance, is protected by many layers of security, including network-based firewalls, host-based firewalls, and access control lists. However, each and every individual using a computer on campus has the responsibility to help keep the overall health of our network clean and pristine, hence cyber security awareness month.
USF News: Mac or PC? Why?
You forgot Linux! All 3 popular operating systems have their purposes. From a security stand point, PCs are more vulnerable primarily because they are so popular. They get targeted more often than Linux or Mac. But don't let the lack of "popularity" give you a false sense of security. All operating systems have to be updated regularly in order to increase their levels of protection. There is no silver bullet in terms of security. To expand on your question, one of the things we security professionals are keeping close tabs on is smartphones. Android or iOS; they both bring interesting challenges and are quickly becoming a very attractive target for hackers.