Cyber Security Month phishes for solutions

October is Cyber Security Month and NC State plans to engage students, helping them learn about the threats they face online.

The month’s highlight event is on Oct. 22, where the FBI Cybersquad will come in to talk to students in Stewart Theatre. 

“We are working with the FBI cybercrime division here in Raleigh, who are coming to talk to students who may want to work with them or are interested in cybersecurity,” said Leo Howell, the assistant director of security and compliance at NC State.

Howell says that the main security threat facing students today is phishing, which is using technology to pretend to be a legitimate company in order to gain information such as credit card numbers or account login information.

“One of the major issues we have is phishing,” Howell said. “Students click on a link, and if they aren’t careful they can send their username and password to someone.  That’s the biggest issue we have right now [on campus].”

For Cyber Security Month, NC State hopes to hold events that will teach students about how to be more careful when they are clicking on online posts, including the Make it Your Mission to Stop Phishing Fair and events on securing Android and iOS devices.

Cybersecurity isn’t just a campus-wide issue; it is a nationwide issue as well.  On both scales, we face a much more major risk than phishing, this risk is known as industrial espionage.  Industrial espionage is where a hacker tries to steal data or or bring down an industry through the means of hacking

“In general, cybersecurity isn’t what it used to be, hackers were usually trying to get something they can convert to cash, like a credit card number,” Howell said.  “What is trending up now is industrial espionage, a lot of what we do here is create new technologies and this is the biggest risk we face now.”

Cyber Security Month will be a time to get students to use Google’s two-step verification system, which helps protect students in the situation

Two-step verification allows students to not be compromised if someone does get a hold of their username and password. After logging in, the student will be required to add another form of authentication before actually being let on to their account.

Howell hopes that Cyber Security Month will be a fun time for students and hopes that it can teach students, faculty and staff how to be safe and cautious when they are on the internet.

“Cyber Security Month we want to make a fun event on campus, where students, faculty and staff can come and have a good time, basically learning how to perform online at home,” Howell said.


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