Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safe online.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

Cyber attacks are a reality of living in a digital world and since using the Internet affects almost everything we do – such as researching, sending emails, maintaining personnel files (getting paid!) and keeping connected with loved ones – it is vital that we know how to keep safe online. EDUCAUSE and the higher education information security community participate in an annual campaign in October, partnering with industries and organizations to spread cyber security awareness through campuses across the globe.

This year’s campaign is meant to engage and educate you about how important cyber security is to you personally as well as the Queen’s community.

Check out our Cyber Security Awareness Month 2016 information pages and learn about some easy tips to protect your personal IT, your work IT and Queen's. Follow these tips throughout October and year-round to help protect yourself and your information and promote a more trusted internet for everyone. The internet is a shared resource and securing it is our shared responsibility.

National Cyber Security Alliance    Get Cyber Safe    Stay Safe Online

A message from Denise Ernst, CISSP, Information Security Officer at Queen’s University:

This year I’m excited to be part of the Cyber Security Awareness Month education campaign here at Queen’s University. As a new member to the Queen’s community myself, I am impressed with the resources already available to faculty, staff and students to help them navigate the technology and information they deal with every day.

Given the critical role of technology in our daily activities, and with data breaches affecting companies on a large scale, it is important that we understand the risks and learn how to protect ourselves against these attacks. Particularly, we must work together in these endeavours; cyber security is everyone’s responsibility. That means where an opportunity-seeker might test for entry by using phishing or drive-by downloads, we need you to be on the lookout in order to keep our computers and networks secure from every angle.

In light of the attack that affected the University of Calgary in June, the Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) is committed to the continuous improvement of our security practices. This will assist in protecting and educating our community on how to keep information and technology at Queen’s secure.

I encourage you to take some time to read the Cyber Security Awareness Month page below and refresh your knowledge. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself from cyber threats and attacks.

I look forward to getting to know our campus and working closely with our community in protecting our most important assets – you!


What Queen's is doing to address cyber security

As we have seen in recent months, higher education institutions are a target of cyber security attacks. Colleges and universities rely heavily on Internet usage, from students completing coursework to faculty and staff completing research and every day work tasks.

Queen's Information Technology Services (ITS) is working diligently to ensure that technology on campus is performing properly and securely every day, year round. In addition to security that is already in place, ITS will be implementing even more security measures in the next year as well as a long range plan that is currently being developed to take Queen's safely into the future of computing!


Learn how we support cyber security through our initiatives:

  • Information Technology Services works diligently to ensure that technology on campus is working properly and securely every day, year-round by offering services and support to campus users through the IT Support Centre.
  • NetIDs and passwords are the "keys" to the university's online resources for faculty, staff and students.  Visit our Manage Your Password page to review guidelines on how to create the best passwords. Queen's is currently in the process of implementing strengthened passwords for employees at Queen's. Starting in 2017, employees with valid NetIDs will be required to change their passwords on an annual basis.
  • ITS, in conjunction with the University Senate, has developed the Electronic Information Security Policy Framework which categorizes various types of information or data according to the level of protection it requires and what safeguards they require. The policies establish what each person's responsibilities are while the procedures, standards and guidelines establish how everyone upholds their responsibilities under the policies.
  • The university has email filtering measures in place to protect the data servers and filter through incoming emails to the university.
  • There are also security measures in place to detect bots in the data centres.

Did you know ...

Queen’s is improving our practices around network security, e-mail security, device security, and security awareness. Part of this involves introducing stronger password criteria for campus. Users must create 10-character passwords of mixed upper and lowercase letters, numbers and a special character. In 2017, employees will need to change their password annually. Note: Passwords to access highly sensitive systems will need to be changed more frequently due to the sensitive nature of the data within these accounts.

Last year Queen's implemented the new MyHR platform where staff and faculty and student-staff can receive their pay statements and T4s slips online. This service is secured with your NetID and password on campus and accessing it from off campus requires a VPN connection.

IT Security Policies

Are there policies or standards that I need to be aware of?

IT Security Standards

Do you have access to confidential information? The following security standards have been developed to assist the Queen's community in conforming to security requirements:

For questions regarding policies or standards please contact the Information Security Office.

Security-Related Services


Last Updated: October 6, 2016