Cybersecurity tips shared by professors

Michael Boylan, Sports editor

This October marks the seventeenth annually recognized Cybersecurity Awareness Month across America.

A large focus of the month is dedicated toward spreading awareness of the proper techniques that can be taken to secure your information and minimize the potential for a data breach.

Various entities involved throughout the cyber workspace have been promoting the discussion about cybersecurity through platforms across the Internet. Our very own faculty of the Cyber Security program here at Mercyhurst have contributed to the discussion.

“During the Cyber Awareness Month, I was a guest for “The Joel Nathalie” show at TalkErie. com where we discussed tips to be safe in cyber space and what are the threats,” said assistant professor of Cyber Security, Christopher Mansour, Ph.D. “I also was interviewed by WJET YourErie. com and WICU Erie News Now regarding cyber-attacks and tips.”

Mansour has also drafted two letters published through the Mercyhurst website this month to educate both students and parents on safety tips for schooling online. The letters focus on issues including password hygiene, how to spot phishing emails and how to secure your network.

The goal is to allow for students to understand the importance of data protection and the proper steps you can take to allow for it.

“Having even a basic understanding of cybersecurity can be of great benefit. Not only to yourself, but to other Internet users. If you understand the concept of something like phishing you can detect it in your own email and protect yourself,” said professor Robert Pearson.

“The reason is we are the human firewall to protect our information, identity, home networks, work, society and country,” said Mansour. “We should be always aware of the latest threats and common tips to follow to stay safe.”

“It’s like your car,” Pearson said. “A majority of the population that owns a car has no idea of how it really works. We rely on specially trained mechanics to deal with that. Unfortunately, with cybersecurity, the person who doesn’t take the effort to worry about the security aspect can be the open door to a cyber-attack that will attack many.”

While data protection has always been a necessity for so many people, it appears to have become a greater priority this year. With even more data now being distributed electronically through work and school environments, understanding how to protect yourself has become even more important than ever.

“The sudden COVID-19-related surge in the use of videoconferencing, remote access, and VPN services — especially at organizations that have not used them before — is giving attackers more targets to go after and defenders a lot more terrain to protect,” Mansour said.

Cyber professionals continue to stress that cybersecurity is a topic that will benefit any and everyone. If protecting your data is important to you, making sure you are educated on the latest cybersecurity tips and trends is the smartest precaution you can take.