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Protecting our university community against ransomware attacks

June 9, 2016 — 

Recently, the University of Calgary was victim to a ransomware incident that impacted many of their IT services including email and file shares. As a result, the majority of their users were without email and access to key systems for several days.

The University of Manitoba has various security measures in place to protect against such incidents and we are taking further preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of a similar incident occurring within our university community.

 

What can you do to protect yourself and the University?

You play a vital role in ensuring the security of our university resources. Along with our enterprise-wide security measures, there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself and the U of M from ransomware or other attacks:

  • Avoid clicking on links within emails from unknown senders or within unexpected emails from known senders. When in doubt, contact the Service Desk.
  • Avoid opening attachments from unknown senders or within unexpected emails from known senders. Again, when in doubt, contact the Service Desk.
  • Store your files on the network. The U of M provides secure file storage for all faculty, staff and students. Information stored on your personal hard drive is not backed up by U of M Information Services and Technology. If your hard drive is compromised through a ransomware attack, you may lose all your information and it may not be recoverable.
  • Disconnect external backup drives and USB thumb drives from your system when not in use. If the device is connected and your computer is hit with a ransomware attack, you may lose all the information stored on the device and it may not be recoverable.
  • Accept prompts to update applications such as Java, Flash, Firefox and Chrome. These updates are pushed out from IST to address security vulnerabilities.
  • Accept prompts to update your Operating Systems. Windows updates are pushed out from IST on the second Tuesday of each month.

 

Information security starts with you!

The university appreciates your commitment and support in helping to protect our university community and resources. If you have any questions, contact the University of Manitoba IST Service Desk at 204-474-8600.

See more on IST security at the U of M IST Security webpage.

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