Cyber Security Awareness Month 2023 campaign highlights

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month 2023, University of Toronto launched a month-long campaign to spread security awareness and bring the tri-campus community together to discuss security matters.

The theme of this year’s campaign revolved around the newly released Information Security strategy, with both virtual and in-person events focusing on the four information security strategic objectives. Check out this year’s highlight

Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign web pages

The campaign and resources web pages acted as a one-stop shop, featuring information about the campaign, events and digital and educational resources, all geared towards promoting information security awareness. The pages gained a total of 640 views over the month of October.

Meet and greet: Information Security at U of T

On Oct. 17, more than 135 students visited the Information Security booth at Bahen Centre’s atrium. The booth offered games and giveaways to enhance students’ information security knowledge. Visitors engaged with the tri-campus Information Security team, including Chief Information Security Officer, Isaac Straley. The conversations ranged from online safety tips, and privacy to cybersecurity careers and more.

Listening to researchers: Safeguarding data and intellectual property

On Oct. 12, the virtual event started with Professor Karl Zabjek discussing the intersection of data security and ethics and outlining a researcher’s daily challenges. The panelists discussed challenges in their areas caused by new technologies and new government policies/requirements, and highlighted where improvements in the supporting and facilitation of research can and should be made. Particular focus was placed on the essential role of collaboration in research and reducing risks within inter-institutional work.

Secure together: Addressing information security risks

On Oct. 26, the University’s information security experts discussed how they are addressing security risks and challenges within their areas. They talked about the role of information security strategic initiatives in furthering risk management goals, highlighting efforts such as the Information Security Risk Management Program, EndPoint Protection Program and the Security Awareness and Training Program.

Converging for excellence: Tri-campus Information Security collaboration

The final panel event on Oct. 31 focused on achieving excellence through collaboration and featured tri-campus panelists who talked about collaborating on security matters through various forums, including the Information Security Council and project steering committees. They highlighted collaborative initiatives, campus-wide efforts, and supportive tools like the IT@UofT Inclusive Language Guide.

The panel events had more than 130 attendees overall. Attendees indicated that they gained valuable insights about information security and encouraged more collaborative events that include multiple units for discussion.

Although CSAM 2023 has concluded, our shared responsibility for information security remains. We all play a part in protecting ourselves and the University from the risks of online threats. We are truly secure together.

Keep visiting the Security Matters website for more information security news and updates.

Strengthening security awareness: Inviting appointed staff to lead the way

In June 2023, the University launched the Security Awareness Training (SAT) Foundations project as part of the broader Security Awareness and Training Program (SATP).

Co-led by Raphaelle Gauriau, Manager, Information Security Strategic Execution, ITS and John Stewart, Information Security Program Manager, I&ITS, U of T Scarborough, the project aims to provide U of T staff, librarians and faculty with baseline training to help improve their knowledge about essential information security topics and threats.

“In an ever-evolving digital landscape, equipping ourselves with the right tools and knowledge is important to keeping our people, data and systems secure and safe. We are hoping the U of T community will join us in this journey to collectively strengthen our digital resilience,” said Raphaelle.

Following the successful launch of phase one, the team is now inviting all tri-campus units to participate in phase two of the project. During this phase, appointed staff from participating units may be onboarded to the project.

Phase two will run from September 2023 to March 2024.

By engaging in phase two, units will have access to comprehensive training modules, thoughtfully designed to be both engaging and informative. These modules cover a wide range of topics, from identifying phishing attempts to safeguarding sensitive data.

The first 20 units to join the program and the first 50 participants to complete the training will have an opportunity to win exciting prizes.

“We are excited to extend the SAT Foundations project to all tri-campus units. Information security is a collective responsibility and by empowering individuals with baseline training, we can collectively build a more secure digital future,” expressed John.

How can units join the project?

Interested units can reach out to Ben Akhirevbulu, Project Manager.

For more information, visit the SAT Foundations web page.

Building a security-aware culture

The University of Toronto (U of T) has partnered with Canadian Internet Registration Authority and ORION to pilot a Information Security Awareness Training platform for delivering information security awareness courses.

The Information Security Awareness Training pilot is part of our larger efforts to build a security-aware culture across the University and equip staff, faculty and students with the knowledge needed to protect themselves and the University against security threats, says Kalyani Khati, Associate Director, Information Security Strategic Initiatives. 

The training pilot was launched on Nov. 24 and is expected to run until February 2022. The participants will be given access to a training platform meant to provide general security awareness training to end-users with varying levels of security knowledge. The goal of the pilot is to collect participant feedback on the quality and value of the courses and to test the viability of the platform.

Approximately 150 faculty and staff members from various divisions within the tri-campus community are participating in the pilot. Their feedback and input will help guide decisions and plans to provide security training to the wider U of T community.

Stay tuned for further updates about the training pilot.