October 05, 2006

Case offers tips, programs during Cyber Security Awareness Month

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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Case Western Reserve University is offering guidelines, tips and programs to help the university community learn more about stewardship of electronic information.

A number of campus events scheduled during the month are designed to stimulate thoughts and discussion on the topic of laptop security, accompanied by a weekly campaign abut end-user protection tips.

"National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a good time to focus on information security. Our campus community uses information technology to carry out a spectrum of tasks ranging from the essential, such as communication, collaborative research, homework, course registration, financial aid and payroll/human resources (administrative) functions, to the mundane such as being alerted that your laundry is done, or knowing if that pick-up soccer game is still on for the day. Students, faculty and staff can benefit from the security guidelines tips and information we will provide during October, as well as throughout the year," said Tom Siu, the university's chief information security officer.

According to Information Technology Services, laptop usage is fast becoming the standard computing approach on campus, fostered by the pervasive wireless networking environment at the university. There are specific risks associated with laptop computing in an academic environment, such as loss or theft of the laptop and its data, or wireless eavesdropping and attacks on the wireless configuration. "National news - such as the Veterans Administration laptop theft in Washington, D.C. - has attuned the university to the threat of identity theft due to potential theft of laptops with sensitive data," Siu said. "Accidents happen. Therefore, we are promoting simple and effective steps that can provide significant reduction of the impact of lost laptops."

A few tips for protecting laptops and data include:

  • Never leave your laptop unattended in a public area
  • Buy a locking cable for your laptop. The cables are available for purchase at the bookstore, through Case Protective Services, or online.
  • Make sure you have a screensaver password
  • Don't keep sensitive data on a laptop. Instead, keep it on a central or department file server, and wipe your disk free space after you delete working copies from the hard drive.
  • Back up data on a regular cycle, and practice recovery from backup

Information about Cyber Security Awareness Month events will be posted at http://securityaware.case.edu. For more security information tips, go to http://securityaware.case.edu/laptop_security.html.

For more information: Kimyette Finley 216-368-0521.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, October 5, 2006 02:35 PM | News Topics: HeadlinesMain, Technology

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.