University of Chicago Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation’s security are impacted by the internet. 

Source: National Cybersecurity Alliance

What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Cybersecurity Awareness Month – observed every October – is a government and private sector partnership that raises awareness about cybersecurity and best practices for preventing cyberattacks and the spread of malware. Cyberattacks can result in serious problems for the University and its faculty, such as the alteration and misrepresentation of faculty data, the loss of private information the University is legally bound to protect, or a massive shutdown of the University’s online operations.

The University of Chicago joined more than 1,700 other organizations by committing to support this campaign as a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion. As part of that effort, the Information Security team will share weekly blog posts that include helpful and interesting facts and recommendations selected to keep members of the University community informed about the latest security concerns and empowered to do their parts to keep themselves and the University safe.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 Themes:

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) are proud to announce this year’s theme:

“Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”

This theme encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity. The University of Chicago will focus following weekly themes:

  • Week of October 4 (Week 1): Be Cyber Smart.
  • Week of October 11 (Week 2): Fight the Phish!
  • Week of October 18 (Week 3): Explore. Experience. Share. – Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week
  • Week of October 25 (Week 4): Cybersecurity First

Cybersecurity Awareness Month Blog Posts:

5 Ways to Outsmart a Social Engineer - Oct 4, 2021

The 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) draws on 29,207 incidents investigated in 2020, over 5,200 of which were confirmed breaches. Social engineering and basic web application attacks caused the majority of data breaches. Among these breaches, a whopping 85% were attributed to a “human element.” Learn how to identify commonly used social engineering tactics and stop cybercriminals in their tracks. Read the full blog post.


Protecting Yourself Against Ransomware Attacks - Oct 11, 2021

Ransomware attacks are not only affecting businesses; colleges and universities are also prime targets for attacks. Surprisingly, education is the most affected sector for malware attacks when compared to other industries like business and professional services, retail and consumer goods, and high tech. Learn what you should do to protect yourself. Read the full blog post.

Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week - Oct 19, 2021

The University of Chicago is joining NIST and other organizations in promoting the exploration of information security career paths during Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week (October 18-23, 2021). This week-long campaign during Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an opportunity to inspire, engage, and inform everyone about the career options available within the field of information security. Read the full blog post.


Cybersecurity First - Oct 25, 2021

Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unlawful access or criminal use and the practice of guaranteeing confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Communication, transportation, shopping, and medicine are just some of the things that rely on computers systems and the Internet now. Much of your personal information is stored either on your computer, smartphone, tablet or possibly on someone else’s system. Knowing how to protect the information that you have stored is of high importance not just for an individual but for an organization and those in it. Read the full blog post.