Makerere University

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In 2020 - Make Cyber Security A Priority - It is yours and our responsibility

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By Arthur Moses Opio

As 2019 ended, we realized that many staff were security conscious, many read about the different pointers we shared on the staff list and reported about scams and were advised on what to do. We do thank you for your vigilance because it goes a long way in securing our network and the many critical database resources.

For any security breach to happen, research studies show that email is the easiest way to get into the network. At the end of 2019 security reports showed that email was still the number one entry point and this is because you can be scammed using a phishing email, social engineering, identity theft, email attachments etc.

We do encourage all of you to always make sure you that you are aware and also not what to do and when to do it.

To always make sure that your security is at its best, DICTS makes sure that at the core level most of the measures are put and we do continue to do research on how to better and improve our security, however the weakest link of the security chain always comes down to us the users who click on links we don’t know or download attachments we aren't sure of. At times as users we respond to emails thinking that it is coming from DICTS or from top officials yet they are scammers that want to steal your personal information which can include passwords and user names to critical systems or even online banking details.

A lot of computing has also gone onto the mobile space as many people have powerful smartphones that can do each and everything in regards to computing. Research also shows that mobile attacks have been on the increase and this is because people store lets of private information on their personal devices and that makes them a sure target.

People buy old smartphones from down town not knowing what programs(APPS) were installed on the smartphone, a lot of spyware(apps for spying are used to navigate and know what you are doing on your phone) so we do encourage you to always do a factory reset to wipe out any app or past information and also install new apps that are from the play store and make sure your phone has the latest security update, do not only update the APPS but also update the device, patches are released almost every day to improve on security.

Security Goals to always have in mind

  1. Make sure your computing devices are up to date with the latest security patches that includes smartphones that are part of our working culture now.
  2. Do not click on links you don’t know or download attachments you aren’t sure of the source.
  3. Don’t visit unsecure sites, they are a source of computer viruses and hackers know that they can easily get to your computer through that, research shows that sites with pornographic content are a good place to have their baits knowing people like visit them, avoid such sites so that we can have a secure network.
  4. Always verify that person sending you an email, making a call wouldn’t hurt to find out if you had indeed talked about communicating over email.
  5. Do not share your passwords with anyone, this is one of the worst things to do because say for example if your AIMS account was abused by another colleague, you will be utterly responsible, your password is your private detail that doesn’t need to be shared by anyone, avoid writing them on notepads and leaving them on the desk or even putting them on sticky notes on the computer, anyone can use it to do whatever they want.
  6. Do whatever it takes to avoid shoulder surfing, people should respect your working space and not peep into your computer or phone unless you have asked for their help.
  7. Make sure your computer is running the bit defender antivirus, your college systems administrator can help install it for you, or you can install it yourself, please visit this link
  8. Avoid plugging any computer onto the network without letting your systems administrator do a thorough check, they will advise on you what needs to be done.