Keeping your computer safe for the month of October

National Cyber Security Awareness covered by NATS

Keeping+your+computer+safe+for+the+month+of+October

Erika Schwartz, Staff Writer

October brings many beautiful and exciting things to the Wayne State College campus: Autumn, the heart of football season and Halloween, to name a few.

On the other hand, something a lot less exciting and beautiful could be in store for the students of WSC: a cyber security breach.

Fortunately, October also brings National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which can help students’ avoid having their security being compromised.

Cyber security is simply a group of technologies specifically designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access.

At WSC, Network and Technology Services (NATS) works incredibly hard to protect all students from these dangers.

“We have a hard time keeping track of every single device that connects to our network,” WSC’s Chief Information Officer for NATS, John Dunning said. “It used to be that no one brought their own device to campus. Now we have over 6,000 devices connected to our network at any given moment.”

The number of outside devices outnumbers the amount of college-owned devices 3 to 1. This includes the students logged on to WSC programs enrolled in online education.

“There are devices from all over the world connecting to our programs,” Dunning said.

“Ten years ago, we could identify the campus as a safe zone—we trusted the campus devices, not the Internet,” Dunning said. “But now, with all of the online programs and people connecting to the guest access all the time, we can’t identify WSC as a safe zone anymore.”

With the influx of people connected to the campus network and online programs, it is becoming more and more difficult to monitor who is using them and for what purpose.

“It is imperative for us to understand who is using the programs, and what they are authorized to do,” Dunning said.

Along with the tireless work of NATS and Dunning, the responsibility to keep WSC’s network and technology clean falls on the students’ shoulders.

“Cyber security is a team effort,” Dunning said. “We are trying to make sure we build a strong security and inform people about cyber security, but we need everyone fully engaged for it to be successful.”

As members of the WSC community, there are plenty of precautions to take to facilitate cyber security success at Wayne State College. Dunning suggests to keep devices up-to-date, install anti-virus software and manage passwords sensibly.

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, NATS will be sending out a newsletter to all students, faculty and staff with helpful tips and information about cyber security.

NATS will also be posting tips and tricks on social media to encourage students to take action and become a part of the cyber security team—not only for the protection of the college, but also for the protection of students’ security.

“In our world today, everything is online,” Dunning said. “It is essential to start cultivating good habits now. Not just for the security of WSC but every part of your electronic life.”
To contact NATS with questions, concerns or a free PC diagnostic call 402-375-7107 or email [email protected]