University Business May 2017 - 47

Finding technical solutions
Phishing attacks have wreaked havoc
across a wide range of industries. One
key difference that may make higher ed
even more vulnerable than others is this:
www.universitybusiness.com

NDSU UNIVERSITY RELATIONS

campaigns as scammers increasingly shift
their attention to students.
At Stockton University in New Jersey this March, a student fell victim to
a phishing attack targeting job-seeking
seniors when he responded to an email
advertising a position for a virtual assistant. The scammer sent the student what
looked like a legitimate check for $1,900
as a signing bonus and asked the student
to wire half of it back, which he did, but
then the check bounced.
The Office of Information Technology Services used the case, which police
are investigating, to illustrate several key
lessons about cybersecurity to its faculty,
staff and students: employers should never ask for personal information through
email, and anything involving the distribution or transfer of money should raise
a red flag, says CIO Robert Heinrich.
Beyond frequent email reminders
about phishing, Stockton offers online
workshops on cybersecurity for the entire
campus community and provides cybersafety tips to incoming students during
freshmen orientation.
Educating students about phishing
can be a challenge because 25 percent
of the undergraduate population turns
over every year. To spark interest, SUNY
Geneseo played off the word by stocking a kiddie pool with magnetic fish for
students to reel in during Cyber Security
Awareness Month last October.
Mount Holyoke officials decided to
tap into the "maker culture" popular
among students by having them create
buttons at a cybersecurity table at orientation. "Whether it's treats or making
buttons, it's just finding a way to open a
conversation and engage students," says
Wirth-Cauchon.

FABRICATED PHISHING-At North Dakota State U, students or staff falling for
a fake phishing scheme may be surprised by their own inability to recognize an
email as a scheme-but they may breathe a sigh of relief when the landing page
reveals the trick and provides hints on spotting fraudulent emails in the future.

Not all institutions require two-factor
authentication when a user logs on to
campus computer systems.
Multifactor authentication-in which
a password plus additional verification
on another device is needed to log in-
would further fortify campus networks
against hackers, says Kim Milford, executive director of REN-ISAC, or the
Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Centers.
The Indiana University-based organization promotes cybersecurity in higher
education.
In a 2016 Educause study of 680
higher ed institutions, 52 percent said
they required some type of multifactor
authentication.
North Dakota State now uses twofactor authentication for employees with
access to sensitive information such as
payroll forms. The university has been
successfully targeted five times in the last
four years by scammers who stole money

from direct deposit accounts, explains
Wallman. In response, a broader rollout
of two-factor authentication is now under consideration.
Institutions also monitor incoming
email constantly to ensure malicious
messages are being diverted to spam folders. IT departments are also hardening
firewalls to prevent such email from filtering into the system.
The most successful approach remains
educating computer users about the
threat. "For the most part, colleges and
universities are doing the most important
thing, which is that end-user training and
awareness," says Joanna Grama, director of cybersecurity at Educause. "They
know they have got to educate students,
faculty and staff to be aware of phishing.
That's just part of the price of doing business today."
Sherrie Negrea is an Ithaca, New York-based
writer who frequently contributes to UB.
May 2017 | 47


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