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Why Cybersecurity Training?

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This month, UAH has teamed up with KnowBe4 to offer some informative articles, videos, and interactive security training to help all of us stay cyber-aware.

You have likely received notifications regarding annual cybersecurity training, announcements of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and cyber articles in every OIT newsletter and wondered why cybersecurity training and articles have become more frequent at UAH lately.  There are many reasons, including a renewed focus on cybersecurity education for all faculty, staff, and students. 

Data Breaches Are Expensive

According to Security Magazine, the average cost of a data breach last year was just under $4.35 million which is almost 3% higher than the previous year.  In this time of shrinking budgets and increasing costs, a breach that costly would be extremely difficult to withstand.  

UAH is subject to reporting requirements if a breach results in the potential exposure of student financial or educational data.  These reports could result in additional fines or even sanctions against UAH, including loss of government contracts and maybe even loss of accreditation.

The Threat of Data Breaches Is Greater Than Ever

According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), there were 497 breaches last year at Educational Institutions with 238 of them having confirmed data disclosure.  Universities are being targeted more frequently than ever, especially during times of higher activity like the beginning of the semester and around the time that grades are being finalized.

YOU Are The Front Line Protecting UAH

Per the DBIR, 74% of breaches were facilitated by “the human element” i.e. employees, contractors, and individuals who already had access to the system.  The primary methods of access were stolen credentials (user names and passwords)  and phishing.  One of the reasons cybersecurity training has become more pervasive at UAH is because exploiting human beings remains one of the easiest ways to gain access to secure information systems.  The best way to prevent breaches and other cybersecurity incidents is through cybersecurity education.  If you know what indicates a potential issue, you can help stop it before it results in an expensive and embarrassing situation for UAH as a whole.

When it comes to Cybersecurity it takes all of us to keep UAH safe.  By staying prepared and aware of cyber threats, treating suspicious emails and links with caution, and notifying OIT and your local IT provider if you suspect something, you will help UAH remain productive and secure.