UISO Security Awareness Training Course Gets an Upgrade

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A new UISO online security training course aims to educate Fordham students, faculty, and staff on how to protect themselves from cyber threats and attacks. Set to launch sometime in summer 2016, the IT Security Awareness Core course is an engaging way to learn how to stay safe in an era of shared digital information in the workplace and at school. All Fordham employees are strongly advised to take the training. Those that handle credit card information are required to take it.

The training is an update from the former course that had been available on Blackboard for several years. According to Silvio Balzano, Director of IT Risk and Integrity, Resident Technology Consultants and others who took the course felt it was out of date and found its approach, which included over-simplified games, inappropriate for a Fordham audience. The new IT Security Awareness Core uses dynamic videos and images, includes an animated narrator, and is updated annually.

Taking the Course: A Review

Access the course in Blackboard, which is located in My.Fordham.edu. Under the “Bb Home” tab, look under the “My Organizations” table and select the course; depending on your status at the University, you will see either “UISO_Employees: UISO Security Training for Employees” or  “UISO_Students: UISO Security Training for Students.”

On the main page of  the UISO Online Training site, click on “UISO Training Courses” from the left-hand menu, and then select  “IT Security Awareness Core.”

A short introduction page provides basic information about the course procedure and course goals. Read it and then click on “Continue to the home screen” at the bottom of the page.

On the home screen, you’ll see a list of the module titles. The faculty/staff version has 17 modules, and the student version has 12 modules. To begin, click on the first module thumbnail. For the purpose of this article, I will review the faculty/staff training.

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The first module focuses on building a personal cyber security “shield,” which is a metaphor for growing one’s awareness about cyber security and technology safety. Each module focuses on different themes, but certain core ideas come up repeatedly, such as:

Safe practices for using technology in the workplace and at home
The importance of separating personal and professional information
Protocol for addressing cyber threat issues, such as phishing emails and fraudulent links

Modules build upon one another, so you must move through them in sequential order. Each module takes 2-3 minutes and is followed by five multiple choice questions. To progress through the course, you must complete each module’s quiz with an 80 percent pass rate. You can re-watch each module and retake each quiz as many times as you like. In total, it takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete the course.

As with most online trainings, a solid Internet connection is essential. If your browser freezes, there’s a chance you may have to redo the module you were working on, as well as the module you finished last.

In addition to the core training, UISO offers supplementary training modules, listed as “Individual Modules” under the UISO Training Courses home page. Some of these include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Personally, I learned a few helpful things during the security training. For example, I discovered that outdated applications make devices more prone to attacks, and that having many applications also puts one at risk. Thanks to the course, I’ve become more mindful about how I interact with the online world.

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