Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Guide Dogs and Information Security: Raising Them to Enable

Category:Higher Education,Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Leadchange,Uncategorized Tags : 

My thoughts on another challenge facing infosec offices in higher education. It reflects my thoughts, and not necessarily those of my employer.

We had the privilege of being puppy raisers for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, an organization that provides assistance dogs for the visually impaired. Our role was to help the puppy become a mature adult who was able to fulfill his role as an enabler. Yes, it’s a stretch, but it’s also what an Information Security Officer does when “raising” an information security program. A mature information security program becomes an enabler for the business and users it supports. A mature guide dog enables the user it supports to go about his or her daily business. (And no, I’m not going to try to keep drawing parallels between the two experiences!)

In a university setting, maturing a security program and successfully accomplishing initiatives depends on cooperation and collaboration. In my experience, there is very little that can be mandated, unless required for legal compliance; even then, there may be significant resistance. Understanding the business needs of an institution will enable the Information Security Office to set the best balance between security strategies and other priorities at the campus level; thus, opening doors to acceptance of security initiatives.

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Infosec Strategies: Creating Centralized Efficiencies in a Decentralized IT Environment

Category:Higher Education,Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Leadchange,Risk,Uncategorized Tags : 

Information Security Wordle: RFC2196 - Site Se...

My thoughts on one of the challenges facing infosec offices in higher education. It reflects my thoughts, and not necessarily those of my employer.

The institutional challenge of creating centralized cost-effective efficiencies in an environment with a strong tradition of localized, decentralized IT solutions and personnel is normative in higher education.

An Information Security Office can create centralized efficiencies by:

  • Modeling an effective centralized service organization that is responsive to the individual needs of specific departments. (One way to accomplish this is by regular meetings with stakeholders to ensure that the Information Security Office can enable their business, rather than create barriers with unreasonable requirements.)
  • Providing centralized security services such as vulnerability scanning of web and servers and security reviews of proposed solutions.
  • Managing compliance initiatives such as private information remediation centrally, leveraging an extended team composed of empowered college and division representatives.
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Simplifying Password Complexity

Category:Information Security,Infosec Communicator,password,Uncategorized Tags : 

T y p e w r i t e r ⏎Let’s be honest. Passwords are a pain. We all know that it’s important to have different passwords for different places and we all know that they need to be fairly complex. We also know that remembering numerous passwords, especially strong passwords, can be a challenge. So what’s the best strategy?

In this article, I’ll talk about how to create memorable (but strong) passwords and suggest a tool that will make constructing and remembering strong passwords easier.

In general, the strength of a password depends on two factors: length and complexity. Although there’s some disagreement, length is more important than complexity. (For a humorous illustration of password complexity, read the XKCD comic at https://xkcd.com/936/)

Increased complexity makes it more difficult to create a password that you can remember.  The idea of a long complex password may be overwhelming. However, increasing password length alone can result in a password that’s memorable and stronger. Because of the way Windows stores some passwords, the “magic number” is 15 characters or more. A traditional complex password of 15 characters might look like this: “qV0m$$#owc2h0X5”. I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m going to remember a password like that. You COULD write it down and store it securely, but it’s not the easiest password to enter on a keyboard, and storing passwords in a browser or in a desktop application is insecure.

Here are a couple of strategies for strong passwords.

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Facebook Security Audit

Category:Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Internet Safety,Social Networking,Uncategorized Tags : 

A friend shared this post by Ian Anderson Gray today. I think the information is pretty worthwhile. What do you think?


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Amazing Mind Reader Security Awareness Video

Category:Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Internet Safety,Privacy,Social Networking,Uncategorized Tags : 

One of our student workers at the RIT Information Security Office shared this security awareness video from YouTube.

What do you think of it?


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