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Keep Them Closer: Know Who You Need to Secure Yourself From

The standard narrative when talking about cyber security makes assumptions about who your adversary is. For a long time, it was the lone tech-savvy teenager in some Baltic or Eastern European country. Then, it was online criminal enterprises. Most recently, it was...
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Chasing the McGuffin: What Are You Trying to Protect?

Information security, very broadly, concerns itself with three main principles: Confidentiality - information is only available on a need to know basis. Integrity - the information, when accessed, is accurate and has not been tampered with. Availability - the...
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Street Smart vs. Book Smart – Revisiting Operational Security

Last week, I briefly introduced the term "operational security". If using anti-malware software, installing security updates and keeping your data backed up are the "book smarts" of cyber security, operational security represents the "street smarts". And as you can...
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National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Trivial Pursuits

This was something I wanted to do last year but didn't have the time to do it right.  I think I have a good batch that will hopefully by challenging and enlightening.  Answers are presented below the questions in white text - to see the answer, highlight the block of...
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Cybersecurity as a Public Health Concern: Damage Containment

Despite your best efforts, you may still find your computer filled to the brim with malware. I started off this month by talking about what to do if your identity were to be stolen. This will be less about how to recover from specific threats and more about general...
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Cybersecurity as a Public Health Concern: Risk Reduction

Preventative measures are a good idea but it's important not to let yourself be lured into a false sense of security. After all, you wouldn't stop washing your hands if you got a flu shot. Basically, what I'm saying here is don't be Dave. The problems with risk...
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Cybersecurity as a Public Health Concern: Preventative Measures

There's a lot to cover here so let's just dive right in. Antivirus Software You can download free copies of Sophos Anti-Virus from the ITS website for personal use for Windows and Macs. If you're looking for other options, there are many: BitDefender makes what is, at...
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The More Things Change: Same **** in a Different Pile

I heard from a student wanting to know more about a relatively new type of threat known as crypto ransomware. In short, it works like this: a malicious program infects your computer and encrypts your personal data with a secret key, making it inaccessible to you. You...
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A Different Job Title and a Different Approach to Thinking About Cybersecurity

Last year was the first time we at Oxy actively contributed content to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This year, as you've no doubt noticed, we're back at it again. One slight change this year is to my job title, which is now Director of...
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Of Death and Taxes: What To Do If (When) Your Identity is Stolen

So remember when you send that job application to the Federal Government? Or when you had health insurance from Blue Cross? Or that time when... well... you know? Or really, just pick any reason out of a hat. Basically, what I'm saying is that there are two types of...
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