Cyber Security at Work

Our work lives revolve around technology more than any time in history. Think about it. We communicate internally and externally mainly through e-mail. Documents that used to be stored in file cabinets are either on the computer hard drive or a network server. Many times, we are not even aware of exactly where they are stored, just that they are somewhere at work. Many meetings are now being held on electronically controlled conference calls or using computer software. We pull research for projects from blogs, wikis, online databases, electronic reports, and other technological resources. It is an exciting prospect that we have these far-reaching powerful resources to enhance our work lives. With this far reaching access comes new threats. For example, according to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, "Cyber attacks are increasing in sophistication and frequency every day. They include a broad spectrum of nefarious activity--from an individual hacker, to an organized criminal group stealing information or identities, to nation states engaged in cyber espionage." The threats are real and widespread.
That is why it is more important than ever to practice sound information awareness and security techniques at work. It is everyone's responsibility to safeguard personal and business information at all times while at work. 
Creating a Strong and Memorable Password:
You decide: What's more frustrating?
  • Creating and remembering a strong password
  • Cleaning up your credit after a security breach
  • Notifying thousands of Columbia College constituents that their accounts information has been compromised.
Your password is worth as much as what it protects!

As a general rule of thumb, the more random and longer a password is, the more more secure it is. Strong passwords are creating using all of the following tips:
  • Make it lengthy: Ideally, passwords should be at least 14 characters long. Every additional character in a password provides more security.
  • Consider using a pass-phrase: It may be hard to find a word that is 14 characters long. Instead, try
    • A mantra
    • A quote
    • A sentence
  • Substitute: Use numbers instead of characters or vice-versa
  • Add complexity: Include a combination of UPPER and lower case letters and numbers. 
  • Weak, easy-to-guess password, such as:
    • your username
    • first/last name
  • Using the same password for every online application
  • Passwords with less than six characters
  • Repetitive passwords such as: Pass11, Pass22, Pass33

Columbia College Password Policy:
Columbia College has a single sign on process for e-mail, Web Advisor, Datatel, and Network Access. Under this policy, faculty and staff will be required to change their passwords every 90 days.
For more details, check out Columbia College's Password Policy.

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