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IT Launches Security Initiative

November 1, 2005

Information Technology (IT) has launched a new security initiative — “Information Security — You’re the Key

“Every individual, school, and department helps maintain a safe environment for conducting the business of the University,” said David Kovarik, director of information and systems security/compliance IT.

A new “You’re the Key” logo developed by IT is being used to help publicize the security initiative throughout campus, identifying ways in which faculty, staff and students can practice safe computing behavior. IT is also promoting a “Security Awareness Tip of the Month” <www.it.northwestern.edu/security/tip-of-the-month> with detailed information available each month on a different aspect of computer and network security.

Taking responsibility for your computer — especially protecting University data on that computer — begins with good security habits, Kovarik said. Besides following IT’s “5 Simple Steps” <www.it.northwestern.5steps>, this includes being aware of potential security risks and preventing them by:

• Using caution when downloading free software, which is often bundled with spyware

• Securing mobile devices such as PDAs and Internet-capable cell phones

• Complying with copyright laws relating to file-sharing and downloading of audio and/or video files

“These are actions everyone can and should take to protect themselves and their information,” Kovarik said. “Keeping the entire University secure and compliant isn’t something to be left up to chance. We all play an important role in keeping the entire network safe.”

Kovarik emphasized that information security threats put the University’s data and network resources at risk.

For more complete information about computer and network security, consult NUIT’s Web site at <www.it.northwestern.edu>.

More information is available from the IT Support Center at (847) 491-HELP.