Today, we are more interconnected than ever before. Not only do we use the Internet to stay connected, informed, and involved, but we rely on it for all of our day-to-day needs. The nation's critical infrastructure relies heavily on the Internet for everything from submitting taxes, to applying for student loans, to following traffic signals, to even powering our homes. Can you imagine our lives without the Internet?
Yet, for all of its advantages, increased connectivity brings increased risk of crime - thus making cybersecurity one of our country's most important national security priorities. Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity, President Obama designated last October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. October 2013 marks the tenth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center(MS-ISAC).
Mission from President Benson
Since the launch of the University of Colorado’s IT Security Program in 2007, our university system has made rapid progress in protecting Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and other personal and financial information pertaining to current and prospective students, faculty, staff, donors and other people who rely on CU services.
More than 20,000 CU employees have completed online privacy and security training courses, and that number is growing. A university wide inventory of sensitive data has reduced the amount of sensitive information stored on the university’s computing systems. The university’s IT experts have revised many of CU’s day-to-day business processes to limit the collection and storage of personal information only to what is absolutely necessary.
Despite these important accomplishments, it is essential that CU employees remember that the responsibility for information privacy and security does not fall only to campus IT offices, and that IT security is not a one-time training issue.
Information privacy and security are the responsibility of all CU employees. Technology failures rarely cause data breaches. Rather, most data/security breaches are the result of well-intentioned employees who do not follow secure processes while simply trying to do their jobs. As such, it is important to remember the following principle:
Information privacy and security are not just about technology—they are about the way people handle the personal information they collect and store. Protect personal information as you would like others to protect your personal information.
You can start exploring your campus privacy and security resources by clicking on the following links:
Colorado Springs: http://www.uccs.edu/~itsecure/
System Administration: https://www.cu.edu/ums/security/
Additional information regarding privacy and security may be found at https://www.cu.edu/information-privacy-and-security.
I am grateful for the efforts of all CU employees who keep data security and personal privacy foremost in their minds as they undertake day-to-day administrative tasks in admissions and registrars offices, in student and housing services and in other important university departments. You are helping us operate in ways that inspire public confidence.
Bruce D. Benson