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Secure Development of Internet of Things Products for Education

By Vaughn Eisler and Renault Ross

Vaughn Eisler is a business development manager and Renault Ross is a national security architect at Symantec Corporation.

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a major departure in the history of the Internet, as connections move beyond computing systems and begin to power billions of everyday devices, from smart meters to home thermostats to remote e-learning systems. The market demands that these devices and sensors have a multilayered security and data management approach to ensure they are properly identified, secured, and trusted and that the data they produce remains private, managed, and analyzed.

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Stop. Think. Connect. Everyone's a Target

By Shelby Cunningham, Marcelle Drakes-Ruffin, and Ashley Rae Tolbert

Shelby Cunningham, Marcelle Drakes-Ruffin, and Ashley Rae Tolbert are graduate students in the Master of Science in Information Security Policy and Management (MSISPM) program at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University.

When Target fell victim to hackers seeking credit-card numbers, we were shocked to learn that it started with a social engineering attack against an HVAC company they used. Surely, nobody would try to breach a retail giant through people who personally held nothing of value. But the teenager who fell for a fake MySpace login in 2006 could have grown up to become an employee who gives information to a fake colleague. Social engineering — manipulating human nature to get sensitive data — can expose anyone to attack. The good news? Simple strategies offer protection against attackers.

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Let's Get Ready for NCSAM 2014

NCSAM 2014National Cyber Security Awareness Month is less than 2 months away. Have you started planning events and activities for your campus yet? Join EDUCAUSE and NCSA as we celebrate the 11th annual NCSAM this October.

Here are a few ways you can show your support and help us make NCSAM 2014 the most successful yet!

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Usability and Network Security in Higher Education

Guest Blogger: Rich Murphy, Director of Technical Account Management, @BlackStratus

Rich Murphy BlackStratus

IT Systems administrators working in an academic setting are often faced with the unenviable task of balancing two seemingly disparate priorities: managing and mitigating security risks, and ensuring a user experience that is intuitive, seamless and reliable. This dilemma is not a new one — Frederick M. Avolio, writing at, notes that “security and usability are often inversely proportional.”

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Data Privacy Month 2014: January 28-February 28

Data Privacy Month 2014

Did you know that Data Privacy Month (January 28-February 28, 2014) is just two months away? Now is the perfect time for colleges and universities to start planning activities and events.

Here are several ways that you can help raise awareness about data privacy issues on your campus.

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NCSAM 2013 Highlights

National Cyber Security Awareness Month 10th Anniversary

As the 10th anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) wraps up, we would like to thank the higher education community for another successful celebration. Colleges and universities continue to offer fun, creative activities and events for students, faculty, staff, and their local communities. Here are just a few highlights.

NCSAM Champions: 100 higher education institutions showed their support along with individuals, businesses, organizations, and government.

NCSAM Activities: Over 190 institutions shared their plans during the month of October. See what events took place by visiting the NCSAM Resource Kit.

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Cybersecurity and the Electric Grid

Guest Blogger: Darren Highfill, Founder & Managing Partner, @UtiliSec

Electric Grid cybersecurity

When was the last time you replaced your computer? How about your mobile phone?

Imagine yourself today, with a desktop computer from 2003 sitting in front of you. You've managed to dust it off and clean it up enough that it actually starts up and runs pretty reliably.

Now your mission is to move money from one of your online bank accounts or retirement accounts to another - maybe at a different bank or fund - all using this machine from 2003.

Think you could do it? Would you want to?

What if the computer was actually from 1993?

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How to Protect Yourself from Cybercriminals

Guest Blogger: Martin Holste, @mcholste

Identity Theft for Criminals. Source: Student Video and Poster Contest

Security is about people and their motives, and understanding the underlying goals of criminals can help you better understand how to stay safe online. Several years ago, the online criminal world shifted into a fully-fledged black market carrying commodities for sale between criminals. As in the physical world, understanding what is valuable to a criminal is critical for prioritizing your defenses. In addition to your funds, other assets such as your online accounts, use of your computer, and even your geographic location are all a commodity to be traded and sold to the highest bidder.

Building Effective and Meaningful Cybersecurity Policies

Guest Blogger: Dr. Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, Director, Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, University of Washington

Note: The following information is presented for students currently enrolled in MLIS programs, as well as teacher-librarians, and other educators in the K-12 and higher education communities.

Teacher-librarians, in addition to managing the application inventory on school computers, are often given the task of controlling computer access. Without specific education in online safety and security issues, putting any limitations on access could seem counter to what a librarian is trained to do.


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