Auburn Cybersecurity – What Should We Be Doing?

What do Lake City, Florida; La Porte, Indiana; Montgomery County, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and 22 towns in Texas have in common?  They have all been victims of RANSOMWARE attacks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are daily cyberattacks against corporations, municipalities, universities, states, and even the federal government. From large company data thefts and individual identity thefts to extortion emails and employment scams, cybercrime has reached epidemic levels. 
The current rising threat: Ransomware attacks. In a ransomware attack, a hacker encrypts all of your data, preventing you doing your job or delivering your service.  The hacker then demands payment of anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollar to restore your access.  
Our greatest defense is vigilance in prevention and rapid detection of attacks if they occur.  Here are some of the most common cybercrimes that you are likely encounter followed by a list of tips you can use to defend against the threat. 
Phishing is one of the most commonly discussed cyber threats. It is an attempt to acquire personal information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Typically, these attacks are email based.
Social Engineering
Social Engineering relies on certain aspects of human nature to gain access to sensitive information. This type of attack may include sob stories, promised freebies, or other tactics that play on human emotion in an attempt to get personal information or larger scale account and network access. Email, web links, and even telephone calls are all attack methods used in Social Engineering attacks. 
Password Hacking
Even if you don’t provide your password via a phishing or other social engineering attack, your password may still be vulnerable. Password hacking can be done manually or via software, and hackers can easily crack a password that is short, simple, or that contains readily known information about you.
And, of course, the ransomware threat explained above.
So how do we defend ourselves and our institution?
There are preventative measures you can take now, as well as ongoing efforts you should make, in an effort to keep your data, money, and personal information secure. Here are our tips for helping you protect yourself both at work and at home.

For more information on Cybersecurity threats and practices, visit And if you have any questions, or if you need assistance with any of these issues, contact Auburn’s cybersecurity staff at