Driving Phishing Awareness Across Campus

Preventing Campus Members from Falling for the Bait

Topics: Information Technology, Information Security

Phishing Not to Be Taken Lightly

Higher education institutions popular and vulnerable targets

For most universities, a security incident is more of a “when” than an “if.” Cyber criminals exploit this vulnerability by ramping up attacks on college and university users to increase odds of obtaining access to institution networks.

Phishing attacks are popular among cyber criminals because the attacks rely on social engineering – tricking people to provide credentials in good faith to a source that claims to be part of the college or university, when it is not.

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Phishing responsible for majority of security incidents

With thousands of users, college and university networks have thousands of vulnerability points for cyber criminals, and some cyber attacks are bound to be successful.

In 2013, 60 to 100 Eastern Michigan University accounts were compromised monthly (out of 60,000 active users) from phishing attacks. These accounts were identified by their generation of spam emails; more may have been compromised.

Information security staff are trying new ways to familiarize campus members with phishing emails, including blogs dedicated to phishing email examples and self-phishing simulations.

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Driving Phishing Awareness Across Campus

Current Practices and Timeline Insufficient