NCSAM 2018 Week 4 – Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

WELCOME TO THE FOURTH AND FINAL WEEK OF NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH!

Welcome to the final week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

This week will deal with safeguarding the nation’s critical infrastructure as our national topic and our local topic will be about making sure to not diminish residence hall security and how to decrease the likelihood of someone stealing your devices.

First, if you have been paying careful attention to the news in the last few weeks, you may have heard something about our national topic, securing the nation’s critical infrastructure. This includes power generation and transmission, water and sewage services, transportation, communication, and a host of other services we take for granted every day. Unfortunately, if any of these fail, they can result in catastrophic issues.

  • Imagine if the power in your neighborhood, or here on campus, went out, and stayed out for days. This would affect everything from classes to food production to air conditioning, and everything in between.
  • What if traffic lights stopped working, or air traffic controllers couldn’t track and guide airplanes at our nation’s airports?
  • What if water stopped flowing from our taps and sewage backed up in our restrooms?
  • What if your smartphone didn’t work for anything other than playing solitaire?

Just spending one minute thinking about how bad things could be should convince you that protecting these services is vitally important. These are just a small sample of the sixteen areas defined as critical infrastructure by the US government. You can read more about this in the Wikipedia article on critical infrastructure, which covers more than just the United States.

Second, campus administration, including the Office for Information Technology, Campus Police, Residence Life, and others, would all remind you that you should never prop open secured doors in residence halls, including outside doors and more importantly, floor and hall entrances. The technology that secures those doors was put there for your protection. Also, don’t allow others to “tailgate” behind you into residence halls or onto secured floors or hallways, especially if you do not recognize them. If a person is hanging around your residence hall or in a parking lot and you feel uneasy about them, first get to a safe location, then notify either an RA, a ResLife staff member or Campus Police.

Last, here is a quick tip to reduce the likelihood of your devices (phones, laptops, tablets) being stolen. Put some bling on them! Placing stickers, your name (physically etched or on a sticker), and bold or wild covers and cases on your devices will distinguish your stuff from other people’s. Thieves will be less inclined to steal heavily personalized items. Be careful, though – some modifications or additions to these devices could void your warranty, or diminish their resale or trade-in value. The upside is that it will be less likely to be stolen.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have read all four weeks of articles. If not, go back and take a look at weeks 1-3. The links are below. Again, thank you for participating in National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

NCSAM 2018 Week 1

NCSAM 2018 Week 2

NCSAM 2018 Week 3

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