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Max’s Minute: Cybersecurity Impacts All of Us

Max Davis-Johnson
Max Davis-Johnson, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Cybersecurity impacts each of us when we use a phone, laptop, tablet, PC, or participate in social media and online shopping. It has a significant impact on all of us at Boise State.

The Office of Information Technology has a dedicated cybersecurity team focused on preventing, detecting, and responding to cyberattacks. However, we need you to join Boise State’s cybersecurity team!

One of our biggest cyber vulnerabilities is phishing emails. Phishing campaigns are becoming more sophisticated daily. While AI has improved phishers’ capabilities, it has also enhanced our detection and prevention abilities.

We are in an ongoing cybersecurity arms race that requires constant vigilance.

How You Can Help

So, how can you help? Overall, the university does really well in detecting phishing emails. But some still get through, and sometimes you click on them and become a phishing victim. A phishing email could appear to be from me, Dr. Tromp, your dean, director, or other known contact. If this happens to you, we will work together to respond.

If you have any suspicions about an email you receive (or responded to), contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or email and we will guide you.

Other important cyber hygiene steps include:

  • Keep device operating systems and software up-to-date. We will soon ask you to reboot university-owned devices more often to enable updates.
  • Please also regularly update your personal devices at home.
  • Always use strong passwords or ‘passphrases’ and avoiding reusing passwords across your accounts.
  • Never use your Boise State credentials for online shopping or personal services.

We need you on our cybersecurity team because higher education is a unique environment. We have thousands of guest devices connecting to our network daily that we have to monitor. The university is an attractive target with financial data, personally identifiable information, health records, research intellectual property, and more that cybercriminals want.

In the next six months, we will roll out more aggressive phishing training to increase awareness and improve our abilities to identify phishing attempts. We must all remain vigilant and work together as part of the Boise State cybersecurity team.

Join us today!

Learn more about how you can identify phishing emails and be our first line of defense by visiting our Cybersecurity web page.