OTS hosts Cyber Security Awareness Week

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Students can leave laptops at PC Clinic and cyber security booth Tuesday and Thursday.

By Alyssa Zapata

azapata84@student.alamo.edu

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The office of technology services is hosting Cyber Security Week Monday through Friday.

“Awareness helps users to recognize information technology security issues and to take appropriate actions in a given security-related situation,” Usha Venkat, director of information technology, said in an email Oct. 20 from an out-of-town location.

The goal of the week is to educate this college community regarding security problems and use proper tools and techniques to protect their information, Venkat said.

Since there is an increased reliance on technology, there are more risks of cyber-attacks, she said.

October is designated as the National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but at this college for the past three years OTS, computer information systems and district ITS-Security Office have partnered to raise awareness.

At this campus, there is not a trend of hacking, Venkat said.

“Several measures are being taken to protect IT systems at Alamo Colleges, such as intrusion detection devices, firewall, spam filters, anti-virus tools, etc.”

There are many ways information can get hacked, such as using easily guessable passwords, phishing tools, social engineering, malicious Internet and social media sites, she said.

“(It) does not matter who you are or what high-profile ranking you hold. Security cannot be guaranteed,” Venkat said in regards to the recently hacked emails of CIA director John Brennan.

The week of events will kick off with guest speaker Tom DeSot, chief information officer of Digital Defense, 10:15-11:15 a.m. Monday in Room 218 of the nursing complex.

A PC Clinic and cyber security information booth will be set up 1-4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday on the second floor of Moody Learning Center.

Students can drop off their personal laptops at 1 p.m. and pick them up no later than 5 p.m.

Michael Alvarado, IT senior digital media specialist, will facilitate an Employee Development Day Session: Safe and Savvy Online 1-1:45 p.m. Wednesday in Room 532 of Moody.

Venkat encourages all students and faculty to participate because security is everyone’s responsibility.

“Today awareness is not just an option; it has become a part of the policy.”

For more information, visit wwww.alamo.edu/sac/security.

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