NCSAM 2016 Week 5 – Updates and Resilience

Welcome to the last week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month for 2016!

This last week of the month (well, day of the month, actually) we’ll cover three distinct topics, all geared toward making our systems more resilient.

First, we all have certain ways we perform everyday tasks both at home and at work, so it’s a great idea for everyone to go through the “Workplace Security Risk Calculator”. (UPDATE: the risk calculator mentioned here is gone, but there is another one at this link.) Through a series of questions this tool may reveal behaviors that could potentially put information at risk.

Second, we want to remind everyone to regularly update their operating systems, whether on a laptop or desktop, or on a phone or other device. These updates usually include security fixes for current vulnerabilities on any given platform. So whenever your phone pops up and says it needs to update, or your laptop or desktop notifies you that there are updates that need to be applied, you should update as soon as possible. This goes for web browsers as well. Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft and other browser publishers all regularly update their browsers to protect them against new attacks.

Third, in order to maintain the reliability of services, sometimes applications we depend on daily must go down for upgrades and updates. VikingWeb, network switches and wireless access points, and other services must also be updated and upgraded and this usually results in a short outage of service as these updates are applied. The Office of Information Technology strives to find the least inconvenient times to perform these updates, but inevitably, someone will be inconvenienced. A little inconvenience goes a long way to keeping our systems secure and available.

We hope you have enjoyed these articles over the past few weeks and that you learned something in the process. It is our goal to continue to produce articles similar to this throughout the year and we hope to start in November and produce at least one article a month on current security awareness topics.

 

Thanks for reading!

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