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Category: Cybersecurity

Reminder: VPN users need to switch to GlobalProtect by Nov. 14

GlobalProtect logoOn November 14, the AnyConnect VPN will be retired. K-Staters who use AnyConnect as their VPN client need to switch to GlobalProtect.

GlobalProtect is currently available for both Mac and Windows platforms. GlobalProtect will be available later this year for Linux computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Installation instructions

For more information about the VPN visit: https://www.k-state.edu/its/security/secure-data/vpn/

Cybersecurity: Creating a password

Creating a strong password is an essential step to protecting yourself online. Using long and complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from cybercrime. No citizen is immune to cyber risk, but #BeCyberSmart and you can minimize your chances of an incident.

SIMPLE TIPS TO SECURE IT.

Creating a strong password is easier than you think. Follow these simple tips to shake up your password protocol:

  • Use a long passphrase. According to NIST guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. For example, you can use a passphrase such as a news headline or even the title of the last book you read. Then add in some punctuation and capitalization.
  • Don’t make passwords easy to guess. Do not include personal information in your password such as your name or pets’ names. This information is often easy to find on social media, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack your accounts.
  • Avoid using common words in your password. Substitute letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols. For example, @ can replace the letter “A” and an exclamation point (!) can replace the letters “I” or “L.”
  • Get creative. Use phonetic replacements, such as “PH” instead of “F”. Or make deliberate, but obvious misspellings, such as “enjin” instead of “engine.”
  • Keep your passwords on the down-low. Don’t tell anyone your passwords and watch for attackers trying to trick you into revealing your passwords through email or calls. Every time you share or reuse a password, it chips away at your security by opening up more avenues in which it could be misused or stolen.
  • Unique account, unique password. Having different passwords for various accounts helps prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach. It’s important to mix things up—find easy-to- remember ways to customize your standard password for different sites.
  • Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.
  • Utilize a password manager to remember all your long passwords. The most secure way to store all of your unique passwords is by using a password manager. With just one master password, a computer can generate and retrieve passwords for every account that you have – protecting your online information, including credit card numbers and their three-digit Card Verification Value (CVV) codes, answers to security questions, and more.

Download the creating a password guide.

Cybersecurity: Phishing

Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to infect your machine with malware and viruses in order to collect personal and financial information. Cybercriminals attempt to lure users to click on a link or open an attachment that infects their computers, creating vulnerability to attacks. Phishing emails may appear to come from a real financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or any other service, business, or individual. The email may also request personal information such as account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. When users respond with the information or click on a link, attackers use it to access users’ accounts.

HOW CRIMINALS LURE YOU IN

The following messages from the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuardOnline are examples of what attackers may email or text when phishing for sensitive information:

  • “We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below, and confirm your identity.”
  • “During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn’t verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information.”
  • “Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund.”
  • To see examples of actual phishing emails, and steps to take if you believe you received a phishing email, please visit “

Continue reading “Cybersecurity: Phishing”

Cybersecurity awareness training delivered to your inbox on Oct. 29

The annual state-mandated cybersecurity awareness training will be delivered to your inboxes on Tuesday, Oct. 29. All faculty, staff, and student employees must complete the online training by Nov. 12.

If you use Outlook on the Web and you don’t see the training invitation in your Focused inbox, check your Other folder.

Cybersecurity awareness training is an important part of K-State’s strategy to protect our information systems and data. “We ALL have a responsibility to protect the information assets entrusted to us. Everyone at K-State serves a critical role in protecting K-State data”, said Chad Currier, K-State’s chief information security officer.

Everyone at K-State serves a critical role in protecting K-State data

This training, required by state statute, introduces basic computer security concepts and good security practices and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Once you complete the training, your personnel record in HRIS will be updated. It will be listed under the Training Summary as Cybersecurity Awareness, with the course code WIT590.

If you have questions about the security awareness training, contact the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@k-state.edu or 532-7722.

Cybersecurity: 5 steps to protecting your digital home

More and more of our home devices— including thermostats, door locks, coffee machines, and smoke alarms—are now connected to the Internet. This enables us to control our devices on our smartphones, no matter our location, which in turn can save us time and money while providing convenience and even safety. These advances in technology are innovative and intriguing, however they also pose a new set of security risks. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and protect your digital home.

Continue reading “Cybersecurity: 5 steps to protecting your digital home”

VPN users need to switch to GlobalProtect

GlobalProtect logoK-Staters who use AnyConnect as their VPN client need to switch to GlobalProtect. AnyConnect will be retired on November 14.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to remotely access campus resources securely over the internet. By connecting to K-State’s VPN, you assure that the data you transmit or receive will be secure between your computer and K-State.

With GlobalProtect, K-Staters will have a better user experience when using a VPN and no longer need to choose the VPN Group as you did with AnyConnect. When you sign in with your eID and password, you will automatically be placed in the correct group.

GlobalProtect is currently available for both Mac and Windows platforms. GlobalProtect will be available later this year for Linux computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Installation instructions

To learn more about the new VPN, view K-State’s VPN webpage.

Cybersecurity: Identity theft and internet scams

Today’s technology allows us to connect around the world, to bank and shop online, and to control our televisions, homes, and cars from our smartphones. With this added convenience comes an increased risk of identity theft and Internet scams. #BeCyberSmart on the Internet—at home, at school, at work, on mobile devices, and on the go.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The total number of data breaches reported in 2018 decreased 23% from the total number of breaches reported in 2017, but the reported number of consumer records containing sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) exposed increased 126%.
  • Credit card fraud tops the list of identity theft reports in 2018. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 167,000 reports from people who said their information was misused on an existing account or to open a new credit card account.
  • Consumers reported $905 million in total fraud losses in 2017, a 21.6% increase over 2016.

Continue reading “Cybersecurity: Identity theft and internet scams”

Cybersecurity: While traveling

In a world where we are constantly connected, cybersecurity cannot be limited to the home or office. When you’re traveling— whether domestic or international—it is always important to practice safe online behavior and take proactive steps to secure Internet-enabled devices. The more we travel, the more we are at risk for cyberattacks. #BeCyberSmart and use these tips to connect with confidence while on the go.

SIMPLE TIPS TO OWN IT.

Before You Go

  • If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with anti-virus software.
  • Back up your information. Back up your contacts, financial data, photos, videos, and other mobile device data to another device or cloud service in case your device is compromised and you have to reset it to factory settings.
  • Be up-to-date. Keep your software updated to the latest version available. Maintain your security settings to keeping your information safe by turning on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it, and set your security software to run regular scans.
  • Keep it locked. Lock your device when you are not using it. Even if you only step away for a few minutes, that is enough time for someone to steal or misuse your information. Set your devices to lock after a short time and use strong PINs and passwords.
  • Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.

Continue reading “Cybersecurity: While traveling”

Cybersecurity: Trivia Contest

Information Technology Services is hosting a cybersecurity trivia contest each Thursday throughout the rest of October. The contest will be conducted on Twitter starting on Thursday, Oct. 10. Participate in our weekly questions to earn a chance to win!

Trivia Contest

How does it work?

  1. Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/kstateithelp
  2. Two new questions will be posted each Thursday throughout the rest of October. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. That gives you 8 chances to participate and test your cyber-intelligence.
  3. Answer each question in the comments and then retweet the post with the hashtag #BeCyberSmartKstate for a chance to win!
  4. You must answer the current week’s questions before the next questions are released the following week.

You must be a current K-State student, staff, or faculty to win. The winner will be notified on November 7 via direct message on Twitter. If you have any questions about the contest, contact Cathy Rodriguez@ksu.edu.

Visit the Cybersecurity Awareness Month website to stay up-to-date on activities throughout the month.