This week we are celebrating IT Security Week and International Data Protection Day. We will be focusing on a number of exciting initiatives, including running live online events, as well as posting topical articles.
See below for events that are on this week and use the side navigation menu to click through to our IT security articles.
What's on this week
Online drop-in clinic: Ask the Trinity IT security experts your questions
Tuesday, 25th January, 2022 | 11am - 4pm | 10-min spots available
As part of the Data Protection and IT Security Week we are scheduling a consultation window on Tuesday the 25th of January where you can book on of our subject matter experts for 10 minutes to go through any IT Security or Data Protection Queries you might have.
Trinity IT Security experts are Sara McAneney, IT Security Manager, Amir Bijedic, IT Security Specialist, and John Eustace, Data Protection Officer.
Live online event: IT Security and Data Protection Training
Thursday, 27th Janaury, 2022 | 12pm - 1pm | Live online event
On Thursday 27th of January, we are hosting a live IT Security and Data Protection training session in collaboration with the Data Protection Office. While we encourage all staff in Trinity to attend this training, it will be particularly beneficial for new staff. Further details are outlined below.
Training will be delivered jointly by our IT Security Specialist Amir Bijedic and the Data Protection Officer John Eustace. The session will cover phishing, ransomware, important security updates, anti-virus as well as data protection and GDPR in the University Sector.
In-Person Debate: The Phil and and Trinity Data Protection Officer debate
Thursday, 27th January, 2022 | 6pm | In the GMB
To mark Data Protection Day on January 28th, The Phil is hosting a debate with the college Data Protection Officer.
The motion is: 'This house believes that COVID-19 has marked a change in higher level education'.
This is an in-person event on-campus in the GMB. Tickets and more information are available from The Phil.
Protect your data using Encryption
Welcome to IT Security Week, this is an initiative which aims to increase awareness amongst the University community of how we can all ensure that we are protecting our University computers and data effectively.
One important way to protect data is to use encryption, read on below to find out how today!
What is encryption?
We all have information worth protecting; financial data, medical information, University teaching, administration and research data.
Encryption is a means of securing data by encoding it mathematically such that it can only be read, or decrypted, by those with the correct key to access it.
Encryption helps ensure that our data stays protected and private even if disaster strikes. For example if a laptop, phone, or USB storage device is lost or stolen, or if an email attachment is accidentally emailed to the wrong person.
What data encryption tools should I use?
Computer Disk Encryption
Encrypting the disk in a laptop protects the data stored on the laptop computer from unauthorised access in the event that the laptop is lost or stolen. IT Services provide a managed computer hard disk encryption service which all staff should avail of.
Mobile storage devices - USB drives
Using small, portable USB drives, while convenient, can increase the potential for sensitive data to be lost or stolen. IT Services recommends using BitLocker To Go to protect this important data. Alternatively you could consider storing your files in Onedrive so that they are accessible to you from any computer or location.
File Encryption, when emailing files as attachments
When working with sensitive data or personal data belonging to staff and students in everyday documents such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft excel and Adobe Acrobat it is a good idea to encrypt the file by adding password protection within the application.
This protects the data in the file from accidental disclosure if the file is emailed or shared accidentally with the wrong person or account. This also helps prevent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) breaches when working with Personal data.
Encryption options in mobile devices
Some phones or tablets allow you to encrypt your data, sometimes this functionality is built in and sometimes third-party software is available.
Most smartphones and tablets have functionality to allow users to set a password or Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the device that is then necessary to know in order to access the phone. This is the most effective simple security measure that you can utilise to minimise loss and disruption in the event that your phone or tablet is lost or stolen.
Make sure to keep your software up-to-date
Software updates continue to be extremely important and one of the best defenses against hackers and cyber criminals, whether it’s repairing security holes, fixing, or removing bugs or adding new features to your device.
IT Services recommend that you keep your operating system and apps up to date and running the latest recommended version.
These updates help patch security vulnerabilities which can be exploited by hackers to compromise your device and steal your data. They can also install malicious software on your device and any other devices connected to the network. If your device gets infected with any of these, you could pass it on to your friends, family, and colleagues furthering the damage caused.
Keeping your devices up to date is very easy:
- For your Trinity Windows devices, make sure you connect to our network through the VPN and accept any updates deployed by IT Services.
- For your personal Windows devices, make sure Windows automatic updates are switched on, if not make sure you manually update your Windows device and restart your PC after successful installation.
- For your MacOS devices, from the Apple menu in the corner of your screen, choose System Preferences and click Software Update to check if your Mac has the latest ones installed.
- For Android, go to your settings app and tap security. All available updates will be here. For your Android apps, go to the Play Store > Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen > Manage apps and device > Tap Update next to an app to update only that app, or tap Update All.
- And finally, for iOS, go to Settings > General, then tap Software Update. For your iPhone apps open the App Store > Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen > Scroll to see pending updates and release notes > Tap Update next to an app to update only that app or tap Update All.
Keep those devices up to date and stay safe out there!
Stay cyber secure when working from home
Working from home continues to be the norm for many of us. Despite the difficult times, cyber criminals are not taking a break. In fact, there is a clear increase in cybercrime activity now that the majority of us are working from home.
Normally IT Services take care of all of your cyber security needs, and we continue to do so remotely, however now you have to pay more attention to cyber security measures yourself.
By following the best practices and tips you can enjoy your work at home — and stay safe while doing it.
- Make sure your Operating System and other software are kept up to date. These are updated regularly to improve their security.
- Anti-Virus, there is no escaping it, always has an anti-virus program installed on your device and makes sure it is up to date with the latest threats.
- Keep your work devices for work only. Do not let friends and family members use your work devices for any reason.
- Be careful what you share on your screen during online meetings. If possible, don’t leave any windows open that you don’t want to share. Accidents do happen and while it can be awkward, it’s also a privacy issue. You might accidentally share content that is not meant to be viewed by others.
- Secure your home network. If your Wi‑Fi requires a password, that’s a good start. If not, access your router settings to change this. Often the default passwords for your router settings are a weak link in Wi‑Fi and network security. If you have never done it before, change your router’s password.
- Use the VPN. By working through the VPN, your web traffic is encrypted and can’t be accessed by anyone.
- Watch out for Covid-19 related scams. Cyber criminals have widely exploited the Covid-19 outbreak in numerous phishing and scam campaigns. If you get emails with any suspicious links or attachments related to Covid-19, don’t open them. And as always stay vigilant for other phishing emails.
Why is IT security relevant to me?
IT Security is an ongoing responsibility for everyone, but there are measures you can take to play your part, but also keep yourself protected.
Cyber security attacks have emerged as one of the most significant threats to universities and colleges in recent years and are on the increase due to the pandemic.
As a university, our IT systems are designed to accommodate large numbers of users and deal with valuable and sensitive information. Cyber security attacks can cause widespread and significant damage to our community, directly impact individuals in our community, and can be executed through something as simple as a link in a text message.
Cyber security is a highly serious topic and the risks are far-reaching including major financial loss, data breaches and account hacking, phishing, harassment, IP theft (piracy), credit card fraud and denial of service attacks.
What can I do to protect myself and the University?
The best way you can protect yourself and the University against cyber threats is to stay informed and vigilant. There is a lot of information about keeping IT secure available on our website.
Cyber Crime Watch Hub
Are you a Trinity staff member? Visit the Cyber Crime Watch Hub
Make sure to regularly visit our Cyber Crime Watch Hub.
We post lots of engaging resources on security awareness there, including the popular Restricted Intelligence IT-security comedy series!