User-friendly Top 10 Helps Minimize IT Security Risks

Posted: March 12, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Sharon Taylor

Ten suggestions for desktop users to help minimize security risks have been posted to the Information Technology (IT) Security web site launched last year. The suggestions, which are accompanied with pictures and screen captures, help the George Mason community incorporate straightforward security procedures into their routines.

Cathy Hubbs, IT security coordinator, says documents like the ten suggestions enhance user skills and understanding, ultimately leading the university closer to achieving a higher level of awareness about the importance of IT security. “We’re working to build a tradition of cooperative collaboration among users, systems administrators, and other universities,” she says. “The collaboration and sharing of best practices is the most productive and cost effective way to enhance policies and procedures that will secure Mason’s IT data and network.”

Outreach to campus communities is part of ITU’s ongoing effort to strengthen user understanding, promote information sharing, and keep a spotlight on security. BYTE Week, in January, invited faculty and staff to learn about security. The newly formed Systems Administrative Leadership Team’s (SALT) first meeting earlier this year was so well received, monthly meetings are already scheduled for the rest of the year.

In addition to internal outreach, Mason is active with other universities through the Virginia Alliance for Secure Computing and Networking. The Alliance is a collaboration among four Virginia universities–George Mason, James Madison University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech–whose goal is to use its combined strengths for the benefit of the state and its colleges and universities.

“The collective approach with users, staff and faculty training, technical group sharing of best practices, and Mason’s participation with other universities will establish a pattern of secure computing,” says Hubbs. “That’s the ultimate objective.”

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