ITS Department to host 5th annual Cyber Security Awareness Day Oct. 9

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With new technology comes new risks, and mitigating those risks is the focus of October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Under the direction of Executive Director Lectra Lawhorne, the KSU Information Technology Services Department was recently named a "Champion" for its efforts in increasing security awareness.

“National Cyber Security Awareness Month is about educating and empowering a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work and school,” ITS Associate Director Stephen Gay said. “It’s very difficult to keep pace with the evolution of technology. The one constant is the person, and the greatest return on security investment is educating the individual, and that’s what Cyber Security Awareness Day is all about.”

National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources needed to stay safer and more secure online. To that end, champions of National Cyber Security Awareness Month are asked to reach out and educate customers, citizens, employees and communities through events and activities.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, ITS is hosting its fifth annual event to increase awareness of cyber security, bringing together students, faculty, staff and information security leaders, including those from the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“When our office was founded in 2006, security education was one of the tenets we actually started with, so beginning in 2009, as an extension of that mission, we began holding KSU Cyber Security Awareness Day,” Gay said. “The FBI speaker is always a big draw. They usually talk about what’s happening with cyber crime and what they’re doing to protect public and national interests.”

The most prolific threats Gay says his office handles are phishing messages. In August, ITS security safeguards:

  • Blocked an average of 408,000 malicious Domain Name Service requests daily;
  • Blocked an average of 202,000 external malicious command-and-control requests daily;
  • Blocked external distributed denial-of-service attempts, ranging from the trivial to 1.39 million requests daily; and
  • Blocked external malicious applications, ranging from the trivial to 3,400 daily.

“Last year we had record attendance, and for the first time, student attendance outpaces our faculty, staff and community attendance,” Gay said. “We’re very proud of that because students are typically the first to adopt new technologies, so it’s important for us to get our message out to the students so they can protect themselves.”

For more information visit: http://cybersecurity.kennesaw.edu/.

--Jennifer Hafer