Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Stay vigilant against cyber-attacks, ITS urges

Queen’s Information Technology Services (ITS) wants to inform members of the university community about cyberattacks and scams during Cyber Security Awareness Month.

“Due to the nature of the work conducted through Queen’s, a vast amount of sensitive information is collected on computers and servers across campus,” says Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) and Chief Information Officer. “As cyber-attacks grow in sophistication and frequency, Queen’s ITS has made the security of our data and users a top priority.”

Last year, Queen’s Senate approved an Electronic Information Security Policy Framework, a suite of policies that gives the university a consistent approach to dealing with risks to electronic information. ITS developed an information security awareness training course to help Queen’s employees familiarize themselves with the framework and learn about safe computing best practices. 

As cyber-attacks grow in sophistication and frequency, Queen’s ITS has made the security of our data and users a top priority.
Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) and Chief Information Officer

“The framework clearly states that all members of the Queen’s community have a responsibility to preserve the integrity and reliability of the university’s IT infrastructure, and the confidentiality of valuable or sensitive information,” Mr. Wandschneider says. “In ITS, we are working throughout the year to give Queen’s employees the practical information and tools they need to meet those responsibilities.”

Each week during October, ITS will focus on a particular topic, with phishing kicking off the month. Phishing attacks are a form of identity theft – victims are lured into giving away sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or banking information, usually through email. The emails are designed to look like they come from a trusted source such as the university, a bank or a government agency. The ITS Cyber Security Survival Toolkit contains more information about phishing and ways employees can protect themselves from attacks.

Other topics this month include mobile device security, social media safety, and the importance of encryption. ITS will post information on its website and promote the messages through its Twitter account. The Queen’s Gazette will also post the information each week on the campus updates section.