October is National Cyber Security Month

August 31, 2012


Gone are the days when data and information could be kept safe behind lock and key.  In today’s mobile world, it can be difficult to control the flow and security of your information.

The seriousness of what impact information breach can have for a person and for an organization, were recently brought again to the limelight, when Wired and Gizmodo journalist Mat Honan wrote about the hacking of his Twitter account (Read Mat's recounting of the story on Wired and a related article from InfoSecurity Magazine).  The incident resulted in companies like Amazon and Apple Inc. changing their account verification processes for customer accounts.  In another incident, a woman was harassed by her ex-boyfriend who installed a spyware app on her mobile phone and had access to her location, could listen into her calls and could read her text messages for almost a year before being detected.

Information technology is not only changing the cyberscape in terms of information access, but it is also impacting standards for investigations and law enforcement.  There is an increased dependence on consumer usage patterns and a critical need to raise user awareness. There is a heightened concern about data security to which individuals, organizations and governments are responding by putting better safeguards and awareness campaigns in place.  As a part of this effort,  in 2011 the White House designated October as the National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  

The Division of Information Technology provides many services and resources that help keep GW students, staff, faculty and alumni safe and secure.  Our biggest strength and audience is our technology-aware community.  Knowing that your data is invaluable to you, we are devoting the month of October to providing you the tips and tools to protect yourself from hackers, thieves, phishing, malware and more.  We will be offering a series of information seminars at Marvin Center in the month of October to share information on trends and safeguards that we can adopt to keep ourselves and our community cyber secure.  We invite you to join us and learn more about how you can help and how we can help you to keep your information secure.

The Division of IT will be holding several events to promote cyber security awareness.  Mark your calendars for the dates below!

Wednesday, Oct. 3
Seminar: Mobile Device Security 101: What Every Mobile Device Owner Should Know
10 - 11:30 a.m., Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
Please bring a smartphone and a pen or pencil.

Wednesday, Oct. 10
Seminar: Creating Strong Passwords that You Don't Have to Memorize
10 - 11:30 a.m., Marvin Center 413/414
Please bring a laptop connected to GW1X and a pen or pencil.

Wednesday, Oct. 17
Panel Discussion: Why Should You Care About Protecting Your Privacy and Identity in Cyberspace?
Dr. Daniel J. Solove, John Marshall Harlan research professor of law, GW Law School
Darrell Darnell, GW senior associate vice president for safety and security
Danielle Lico, GW associate dean of students for student administrative services and senior advisor to the dean
Ashwin Narla, president, GW Student Association
Benjamin Fielden, manager of student technology services, Division of IT
Moderated by Dennis Devlin, assistant vice president of information security & compliance services, Division of IT
10-11:30 a.m., Jacob Burns Moot Court Room (2000 H Street, NW)

Wednesday, Oct. 24
Seminar: Protecting Your Data in the Cloud
10 - 11:30 a.m., Marvin Center 413/414

Cybersecurity Awareness Resources
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Mobile Tip Sheet
National Cyber Security Alliance Website
National Cyber Security Alliance Videos
National Cyber Security Alliance free security check-ups