October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month at AU
Digital security is crucial for an online university and its learners.
As an open and online university, digital security is crucial to nearly everything we do at Athabasca University (AU)—and we all have a role to play to protect digital assets and stay secure online.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which prompts us to think more about our role in supporting digital security at AU.
The theme for the month is “Life happens online,” which is particularly relevant to the AU community, especially in a time when the lines between our online and offline existences are becoming increasingly blurred. We must all do our part to protect ourselves.
“The digital age we operate in today is inundated with data breaches and other online threats,” security awareness analyst Cleo Mushonga said. “Being part of the digital world means AU and its community can be targets of cybercrime.”
Digital assets at AU include all Information Technology infrastructure, cloud infrastructure, personal information of learners and team members, financial information, and research.
AU’s Imagine strategic plan includes institutional priorities such as digital stability, reliability, security, and recoverability. The Digital Security Office is responsible for implementing cybersecurity controls that can mitigate risks and support the Imagine plan.
The human element of cybersecurity
Industry experts like Verizon have identified that 85 per cent of breaches involve the human element. This includes causes like human errors, misuse, and even malice. It is therefore crucial for us all to be aware of the methods attackers use against us and understand how to take measures to increase the security of our online activities, both personally and professionally.
There are many resources available to help educate yourself on the AU cybersecurity site. Throughout October, weekly themes will be shared to help you protect yourself from cyber threats.