ITS leaders ask UNK campus to be aware of increased threat of cyber attacks

As the conflict in Ukraine escalates, Information Technology Services (ITS) is alerting the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus of the increased threat of cyber-attacks.

“The potential to be negatively impacted – attacked – has increased as sanctions against Russia are implemented,” said Andrea Childress, chief information officer. “There are steps we can take to strengthen our defenses and protect ourselves.”

Steps students, faculty and staff should take to protect accounts, devices and date include:

  • Be aware of phishing attempts —Students, faculty and staff who encounter suspicious messages or attachments, please use the “Report Phish” button in the Outlook client or in your Outlook Web Access.
  • Use free anti-virus protection from Cortex XDR All university-owned computers should have Cortex in place. More information is available through local IT support teams. The university also offers a version of Cortex for free to use on personal devices. Learn more about Cortex.
  • Vigilance of two-factor authentication —Two-factor adds an extra level of account protection. University accounts use Duo to verify identity. Other email systems and social media platforms often offer two-factor as well. If you receive unexpected Duo authentication attempts via Push, voice or SMS, you may have a compromised password. If that happens, change the password immediately using TrueYou self-service. Learn more about Duo.
  • Guard those passwords —Individuals who have not changed their True You password recently should do so here. It’s a good policy to update all of your passwords — and that doesn’t mean using the same one for all accounts — every three months. And, when updating passwords, be certain to follow guidelines for creating codes that are difficult to break.

“Security isn’t always convenient but plays a vital role in protecting University IT assets. You can’t be careful enough about staying vigilant, following IT guidelines and setting strong passwords,” Childress said. “We all have a responsibility to do our part to strengthen the layers of defense we rely on. Security is everyone’s responsibility”