In practice, data is more than the information that we put into our systems. Data hold people’s identities, the keys to unlocking research quagmires, and the ability to change the way we interact with the observable world. That is why we take data security seriously at MSU IT.
We understand deeply that the data we have must be protected from individuals with less altruistic incentives than those of the faculty, researchers, and students at MSU. We are working to continue to implement industry standards and protocols to protect our data, but we cannot achieve a secure environment without every Spartan following data-handling best practices.
Social engineering has become hackers’ preferred method for accessing sensitive information. Social engineering occurs when a hacker convinces an end user to turn over access to the systems they desire. This risk can be mitigated by leveraging multi-factor authentication on systems they regularly access. By using multi-factor authentication, users know that their systems cannot be accessed without their explicit knowledge. MSU has implemented two-factor authentication on sensitive systems to keep our Spartan data safe.
Every year, MSU IT partners with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other institutions for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) during the month of October. Understanding the importance of keeping personal and professional data safe is a vital part of our educational model at MSU IT. It is every Spartan’s responsibility to protect data and I hope that you will choose to be part of this educational effort. You can help this effort by using your social media accounts to amplify NCSAM messages with the #CyberAware hashtag.
In addition to our security and educational efforts, we have proactively worked with several partners outside the university to ensure that the data our Spartans put into the cloud remains up to MSU’s security standards. This may seem like common sense, but the MSU IT works hard to ensure that partnering companies protect our data consistent with the high standards we have developed, implemented, and will continue to foster at MSU.
#TeamMSUIT will continue to stay on the cutting edge of data storage, cyber security, and research so we can ensure that Spartan scholars know that their information is protected.