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Online Security Reminder

Posted on: Jun 13, 2016
IT Services would like to remind all employees and students of the importance of their online security, particularly in relation to their Concordia accounts.  Concordia is not immune to cyber-attacks, so we must be aware that the threat is real and in many cases those attacks begin with a single account that has been compromised.

You may have heard about the recent successful attack on the University of Calgary: https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2016-06-08/university-calgary-makes-significant-progress-address-systems-issues

We can and should take this opportunity to be reminded how to best protect ourselves from a similar situation.  While part of the responsibility to protect Concordia against cyber-attacks rests with IT Services, it is incumbent on everyone within the Concordia community to do their part as well.

How do protect yourself from being victimized by a cyber-attack?

  1. Do not click on any links or open attachments from unsolicited or suspicious emails.  If the sender appears to be legitimate, you can contact the sender (by phone or in person) to confirm the contents of their email.  Also feel free to involve the IT Services Helpdesk if you are concerned about and would like additional guidance.  Remember that IT Services will never ask you for your password.
  2. If you believe you have already been infected, either by having clicked a link, opened an attachment, or simply by unusual and concerning behaviour of your computer, please immediately shutdown your computer and contact IT Services for assistance as quickly as you can. We understand that these kinds of mistakes happen, and can offer help to remedy the situation promptly.
  3. Ensure your data is being backed up.  IT Services recommends that you do not store important data locally on your desktop or laptop computer.  If you store data there and do not back it up, it may not be recoverable in the event of a cyber-attack.  We offer individual H:\ drive storage for all employees that is backed up as well as the shared folders that employees have access to.
  4. Be aware of the tactics used by attackers.  They may impersonate co-workers or friends or they may refer to things which seem to be 'inside' knowledge.  Essentially, they may look and sound very convincing and you need to be cognizant of subtle differences and clues that can distinguish them.
If you have questions or would like further explanation, please contact IT Services at helpdesk@concordia.ab.ca or 780.479.9316